In his return from a two-year retirement, one of boxing’s finest professionals, Floyd Mayweather has outclassed Conor McGregor after delivering boxing masterclass against valiant UFC star in a scheduled 12-round junior welterweight fight which took place in Las Vegas early this morning.
McGregor boxing for the first time as a professional, was stopped in the tenth round as the American extended his unbeaten record to 50-0.
For two ridiculous rounds at least, it looked as though the freak show was going to have a suitably freakish conclusion. Conor McGregor, a man who had never boxed professionally before in his life, had taken the fight to Floyd Mayweather and was briefly — incomprehensibly — ahead on points.
A record-breaking television audience watched from around the world, not to mention the thousands of fans who had paid increasingly outlandish sums to take up a seat in the Arena,
Mayweather needed three rounds to take the two-division UFC champion’s measure before spending the next seven walking him down, picking him apart and closing the show with a 10th-round technical knockout before a crowd of 14,623 at the T-Mobile Arena. Afterward he announced his retirement with a record of 50 wins in 50 professional bouts with 27 by stoppage. Not since a dubious points loss to Bulgaria’s Serafim Todorov at the 1996 Olympics has a Mayweather fight ended without the American’s hand raised.
“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. 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,” the 40-year-old Mayweather told the Guardian.
Despite the loss, McGregor had earned a minimum of $30m, a tenfold increase of his previous career-high purse of $3m, a total that could exceed $75m once his share of the pay-per-view receipts, live gate, closed-circuit revenues and foreign sales are tallied.
Mayweather, earned a minimum of $100m. That total is expected to swell past $200m once his share of the promotion is accounted for.
The 40-year-old said afterwards the fight would be his last, before thanking his ‘dance partner’ McGregor.
“We do foolish things sometimes, but I’m not a damn fool,” he said in the aftermath. “If I see an opportunity to make $300m in 36 minutes, why not? I had to do it. But this is the last one, you guys have my word. I had a great career. I can’t complain about anything.”