LAS VEGAS: History was made Saturday night in Las Vegas as Floyd Mayweather Jr, stopped Conor McGregor and he made it official that this was the last fight. Mayweather retired undefeated at 50-0 and goes out surpassing the late heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano who retired with a 49-0 mark.
The anticipated bout from early accounts broke a gate receipt record that was established when Mayweather defeated Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas in May of 2015. The T-Mobile Arena was not sold out, 14,623, and early estimates had the pay-per-view telecast on Showtime close to rival the record number of buys of the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.
After a slow start that saw McGregor win the first round on all three scorecards, and the first three on one, Mayweather dominated the two-time UFC champion from the fourth round on, sweeping the last seven rounds on all three scorecards and finishing McGregor by 10th-round TKO.
The crowd of mostly McGregor fans cheered early and often, but as the fight continued, the masterful Mayweather showed that 21 years of professional boxing experience was too much to overcome for the Irishman making his boxing debut.
After the fight, the perfect pugilist tossed praise in the direction of his opponent. Mayweather said “he’s a lot better than I thought he’d be. He’s a tough competitor, but I was the better man tonight.”
McGregor was somewhat humble in defeat. He said, “I have to give it to him, that’s what 50 pro fights will do for you.” McGregor was disappointed with the stoppage, and wanted the opportunity to finish the fight. But the lack of activity by the notorious one prompted the end of the fight.
Mayweather said his composure got the win, this after getting off to a slow start. At one point in the middle rounds it appeared Mayweather was frustrated and pushed his opponent. McGregor, not accustomed to going more than three rounds in a cage, threw a lot of early punches and in those later rounds it showed there was inexperience fighting a crafty and soon to be Hall of Fame champion.
Though at times, McGregor used an effective right jab that caught Mayweather off guard. The fight was not expected to be as competitive as it was and Mayweather was gracious to his opponent. The two fighters jawed at each other often during their four-city world-wide press tour and predicated this first time pro boxer against a UFC fighter would not go the distance.
In the end, the fight did not disappoint. There were no indications about doing this again and Dana White head of the UFC said, “This was a fun promotion that the fans wanted.” It is expected that McGregor will continue his career in the cage and Mayweather said he will go on and promote in hopes of producing the next Floyd Mayweather.
“Rocky Marciano is a legend and I look forward to going into the Hall of Fame one day,” said Mayweather. “This was my last fight tonight. For sure. Tonight was my last fight. Tonight I chose the right dance partner to dance with. Conor, you are a hell of a champion.Think we gave the fans what they wanted to see. I owed them for the Pacquiao fight. I had to come straight ahead and give the fans a show. That’s what I gave them.”
UNDERCARD RESULTS: In the co-main event, Gervonta Davis was less than impressive in a seventh-round knockout victory over previously undefeated Francisco Fonseca. The crowd booed the win, as “Tank” appeared to hit Fonseca with one or two illegal blows. After the fight, Davis, who is now 19-0, said “I don’t think it was illegal, but it had no effect on him. I know for sure it didn’t.” Davis had to surrender his IBF Junior Lightweight championship for failing to make weight.
Fonseca disagreed. “It was an illegal blow.” Fonseca pointed out the displeasure from the crowd. He said “everybody saw that when I was going down, he hit me twice behind. It’s a blow that’s not legal. It was here in Vegas, so he had the crowd going for him, and I just want a rematch.”
Badou Jack had the most impressive win on the pay-per-view portion of the card and was crowned the new WBA light heavyweight champion by stopping Nathan Cleverly with an unanswered onslaught in the fifth round for a technical knockout.
The two-time division champion previously held the super middleweight title. He said “I wanted to box him and feel him out while establishing my jab. Then the plan was to break him down from there. The plan was to finish him.” Jack, 21-1-3, under the Mayweather promotions banner, is trained by Bronx native Lou DeValle the former light heavyweight champion.
In the opening pay per view fight, cruiserweight Andrew Tabiti dominated former champion Steve Cunningham, pitching a shutout on one of the three scorecards for a unanimous victory to raise his record to 16-0.