Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor during their fight on Saturday night.
By Jay Mwamba
Conor McGregor left Las Vegas more than $30 million richer after his 10th-round TKO loss to Floyd Mayweather last Saturday in their historic boxing match at the T-Mobile Arena.
The governor in the first three rounds of his pro debut, McGregor wilted down the stretch against Mayweather – the best boxer of his generation – in an entertaining scrap that exceeded most expectations and thrilled the 14,623 fans in attendance.
Mayweather stepped it up after the fourth round -- his dominance culminating in a big 10th stanza when several big shots had the weary McGregor on the ropes. On wobbly legs, the “Notorious” one was saved from further punishment by referee Robert Byrd.
It went down as a TKO at 1:05 of the round.
Fans watching the undercard from Las Vegas and enjoying the
live music at the Beerkeeper bar on Woodside Avenue in Queens.
PHOTO BY PETER MCDERMOTT
Mayweather, who came out of a two-year retirement to answer the UFC superstar’s challenge, upped his ledger to 50-0, bettering the late Rocky Marciano’s hitherto unbeaten 49-0 record. He promptly announced his retirement again, after raking in a fortune.
According to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Mayweather will bank between $250 to $300 million for the fight. Of that, $100 million is guaranteed with the balance, another $150 million to 200 million, coming from his share of the pay per view revenue.
McGregor’s bank manager will be grinning ear to ear, too. The UFC double champion was guaranteed $30 million just for showing up and will get a slice of what could be a record pay per view take. All said, McGregor will not only earn the largest purse ever for a fighter making his pro boxing debut, but he will earn more than he’s ever made his entire UFC career.
Passionate McGregor fan Chloe Piene and fellow New York City
artist Laur Duvall at the Beerkeeper on Saturday night.
PHOTO BY PETER MCDERMOTT
McGregor showed surprising grit in a scheduled 12-round crossover fight many boxing purists had panned.
The younger, bigger man, the Dubliner utilized all his advantages early on against a smaller foe. McGregor was at least an inch taller than the 5-foot-eight Mayweather, outweighed him by close to 30 pounds on fight night, and had a two-inch reach advantage. And at 29 – 11 years younger than Mayweather who’s 40 – he was, theoretically, the stronger and more athletic man.
With just a handful of novice fights as a youngster to his name, McGregor started off well for his limited background. He was the aggressor in the opening three rounds and connected the best punch of the early action – a counter left uppercut that landed flush.
But despite wearing the threadbare and potentially explosive eight-ounce gloves, and despite his UFC reputation as a striker, McGregor’s power was negligible.
That, and Mayweather’s superior experience and boxing IQ would be the difference in the contest.
“Our game plan was to take our time, go to him, let him shoot his shots early and then take him out down the stretch,” Mayweather said. “We know in MMA he fights for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, he started to slow down. I guaranteed to everybody that this wouldn't go the distance.”
From the fourth round, Mayweather, who debuted when McGregor was 8 and has won world titles in five weight divisions, started turning the screws on his man.
McGregor had a 51-40 advantage in punches landed over the first five rounds but was out-landed 130 to 60 in rounds six through 10 as Mayweather executed his fight plan.
Going for the jugular, Mayweather landed 20 of 26 power punches (that is, any blow other than a jab) in the 10th stanza before the referee intervened.
All three judges – Dave Moretti [87-83], Burt Clements [89-82] and Guido Cavalleri [89-81] – had Mayweather ahead on points.
In victory, the American gave McGregor props. "Conor was a lot better than I thought he'd be. He's a tough competitor, but I was the better man tonight,” he said. “I think we gave the fans what they wanted to see.”
The first two-division champion in UFC history, McGregor conceded that he’d gassed while lauding his conqueror for his “composure.”
[caption id="attachment_90195" align="alignnone" width="203"] Conor McGregor after the fight.[/caption]
“He's composed, he's not that fast, he's not that powerful, but boy is he composed in there,” said the Dubliner. “I thought it was close though and I thought it was a bit of an early stoppage. He was just a lot more composed with his shots. I have to give it to him, that's what 50 pro fights will do for you.”
McGregor said he would consider boxing again, even with a return to the UFC on the cards.
Financially, he stands to make more money in the squared circle than the Octagon. There are likely to be offers for intriguing and lucrative fights, but even with the grit he showed against the smaller, older, modest punching Mayweather, the risks could be greater against future opponents.
Possible foes such as Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin and even Errol Spence, are bigger, stronger and more offensive-minded than Mayweather.