There are Final Fours, NBA Finals games and Super Bowls that bring out stars. But nothing brings out the celebrities and star power like a Fight Night in Vegas. Last Saturday night, the best boxer of a generation, Floyd Mayweather, took on Mixed Martial Arts sensation Conor McGregor in “The Money Fight,” one of the most hyped boxing matches in history. Going into the fight SportsBooks in Las Vegas had Mayweather as the favorite, giving McGregor only a puncher’s chances of dethroning the pound for pound king.
McGregor walked out of the locker room first draped in the green, white and orange of his beloved Ireland. Mayweather carried his undefeated 49-0 record into the arena dressed in all black and wearing a ski mask, as if he were going to rob the MGM Grand Arena. Once inside the ring, McGregor appeared to be all business, while Mayweather was even more relaxed than his usual self: dancing, smiling and making faces at McGregor as they waited to touch gloves.
Mayweather continued to smile even as McGregor went on to dominate the first round. He seemed so much bigger than his opponent, and he used his size to cut off the ring from Mayweather. McGregor controlled the flow of the round with a steady stream of right jabs, unable to do real damage with that mighty left hand. Even after some of his better flurries, Mayweather would just laugh them off, letting McGregor know he had not hurt him. That being said, by the end of the first round, everyone was on alert that Conor McGregor was for real.
Surprisingly, Rounds Two and Three were more of the same. While both rounds had to be scored closely, McGregor continued to be the aggressor, and Mayweather failed to find his offense. The first three rounds all seemed like both fighters were still feeling each other out, but for McGregor to be ahead 3-0 on Showtime’s unofficial scorecard. All of the boxing experts who knew Mayweather would win by outscoring McGregor had to be a bit concerned at this point. McGregor was more than holding his own.
In Round Four, Mayweather began to warm up. He started landing much sharper punches, and fans had to wonder if he had just been measuring McGregor in the early rounds. It was another close round, but Mayweather not only outscored McGregor, he shifted the momentum. The end of this round was the first time a fighter appeared winded, and unfortunately for McGregor, it was him.
Rounds Five and Six mirrored that of Round Four. Mayweather continued to find more offense, and McGregor looked more and more tired. At the end of Round Six the unofficial card scored the fight as even, with three rounds going to each boxer, but the momentum had swung completely in Mayweather’s favor. McGregor may have been even as the score was concerned, but this was the beginning of the end for him.
Round Seven saw Floyd Mayweather take over the fight, and McGregor gasping for air. McGregor was visibly tired at this point, and the question arose of just how long can he keep his hands up in defense. This was the first point in the fight where the idea of a knockout for Mayweather could enter minds of those sitting ringside.
Round Eight was another scoring round for Mayweather, but Round Nine is where he turned up the heat. In the middle of the round, we saw Conor McGregor looking up above him to see how much time was left in the round, and he had to be disappointed to see almost a minute and a half still remaining. As McGregor hoped for time to move faster, Mayweather continued to close in on what now seemed certain victory.
Not even one minute into the 10th Round, Mayweather threw a flurry of punches that connected one after another to the face of Conor McGregor. McGregor, unable to defend himself caused the referee to jump in and stop the fight. McGregor has nothing to be ashamed of. He came into the fight as a massive underdog with a puncher’s chance and can be proud of an impressive showing. Mayweather remains perfect, now standing at an incredible 50 wins, with no losses.
Afterwards, during the post-fight interviews, both men were complimentary of each other. McGregor wondered if he should have been given a chance to continue but kept his complaining to a minimum, focusing on how well composed Mayweather is in the ring. Mayweather was all smiles once again and seemed impressed with how quickly McGregor adapted to boxing.
The sport of boxing is now left with the question of what’s next? McGregor will likely go back to MMA, and Mayweather said that this was his last fight. After dominating the sport for nearly two decades, who will replace Floyd Mayweather? Hopefully it won’t be too long before the next big Fight Night in Vegas.