Floyd Mayweather TKOs Conor McGregor in the 10th
After sizing up UFC champion Conor McGregor in the early rounds rounds, Floyd Mayweather let his gloves do the talking as he beat McGregor into submission. Though nearly nine years McGregor's senior, Mayweather was substantially faster and sharper than the 29 year-old fighting in his debut. Mayweather's final barrage in the 10th round started with an overhand right that wobbled McGregor. The assault continued for almost 45 seconds without McGregor defending himself or exchanging punches. Appearing defenseless, referee Robert Byrd was compelled to stop the fight.
Critics will complain the stoppage came five seconds too early. That's nonsense. Ultimately, referees have a responsibility to the fighters in the ring. Allowing the fight to continue an additional five seconds may have added to the entertainment value, but it could have resulted in irreparable harm to the defenseless McGregor. The stoppage was just.
Combat sports fans who don't regularly observe boxing matches, falsely considered this Mayweather's most entertaining fight. However, most boxing fans recognize the Mcgregor fight more accurately as mere spectacle. As mentioned above, Mayweather was faster than McGregor, but he's still lost several steps. McGregor managing to last ten rounds with arguably the greatest boxer to ever live is commendable. But it's not good for the sport of boxing.
Mayweather became a legend with his unrivaled defense and boxing wizardry. On this night, his defense was subpar and his boxing expertise was virtually nonexistent. Maybe it's his age, maybe it's the two-year layoff, or maybe, retired fighters should just remain retired.
In order to give casual fans a show, Mayweather risked his 49-0 record by making uncharacteristic mistakes. Never in his career has Mayweather walked into uppercuts and overhand rights. He did on this night. Never in Mayweather's career has he stalked another fighter around the ring consistently pressing the action. He did on this night.
But don't be fooled by Mayweather's aggressive tactics, this was not a new and improved Floyd Mayweather Jr. He didn't decide to transform into Marvin Hagler in his final bout. This was an over the hill champion fighting to secure one last major payday.
The greatest boxer to ever live outclassed a mixed martial artist who never deserved to be in the same ring. But that's a low bar for a five division champion. Even with a 10th round technical knockout, Mayweather's performance was mediocre compared to the lightning quickness and elite skill we've grown revere.