We spent a lot of time talking about the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor boxing match in the months leading up to Saturday’s bout on The Drive…as did every media outlet across the country.
Despite all that talk there were several things I never really considered that in the end absolutely affected the outcome.
I don’t know that anyone truly thought McGregor had a chance. And that doesn’t take away from his greatness as an MMA fighter, it’s just a testament to the circumstances surrounding the fight.
This was a boxing match. Period.
Meaning McGregor wouldn’t be able to pull from his vast tool belt of combat fighting skills. Of course we all knew that. It also meant that Mayweather would be able to pull on his usual bag of tricks that had allowed him to systematically pick apart opponents with the least amount damage on his way to a perfect 49-0 record.
I watched the match at home with a group of friends. This group included a former MMA fighter who just so happens to be a black belt in Jujitsu (whom I learned the hard way not to sneak up behind and put in a “loving” chock hold) as well as my boyfriend who was involved in boxing himself for years.
It was interesting to hear what people thought and wanted leading up to the fight.
Then the fight happened. The outcome was not at all surprising to me but the reaction absolutely was. Mayweather won in the 10th round after the referee Robert Byrd stopped the fight. That is when things got somewhat heated in my house.
The McGregor fans were in disbelief that the referee called the fight. I’m not boxing expert but even as a layperson it seemed like the only thing to do.
McGregor started out strong. I felt the first 2-4 rounds easily went to him. Mayweather in usual form sat back, gloves up, and let McGregor begin the process of wearing himself down. Floyd hardly broke a sweat.
Conor got comfortable. He never really kept his gloves up from the beginning but as each round went on they were lower and lower. Floyd was lulling him into a level of comfort that eventually was part of his demise.
McGregor, accustomed to, at most, five 5:00 minute rounds was visibly wearing down. He was tired. Now keep in mind Conor rarely goes all the way in UFC. He dominates and beats his opponents to a pulp, generally not needing to go deep into a fight to come out on top.
Before the fight I predicted it would go far into the fight, possibly even the full 12 rounds. But I hadn’t really considered the structure of an MMA fight and the drastic difference in length of fight. Why I don’t know but I admit it freely.
Then in the 10th round, McGregor’s gloves down around his thighs and visibly exhausted, Maywether saw his chance and unleashed 14 to 15 punches. McGregor returned none. He wasn’t protecting himself and wasn’t able to defend himself.
The fight was over. And it damn well should’ve been.
My house erupted with anger and disbelief that referee Robert Byrd would have the audacity to call the fight. Of course, those that were incensed by such a call were the McGregor fans.
That’s when my friend and former MMA fighter said it perfectly…”McGregor isn’t even arguing the decision to call it.”
Such a simple statement and observation basically summed it up perfectly.
I feel the need to make it clear, I wasn’t rooting for Floyd Mayweather. I’m constantly torn with athletes such as Floyd who I believe are deplorable human beings but are also undoubtedly gifted and talented professionals. I cannot rout for people like him, but yet I have to separate in my mind WHO they are from my coverage and ability to analyze their athletic performance.
I wasn’t necessarily routing for Conor McGregor either. To me the entire thing was a well crafted money grabbing spectacle. (And it’s important to remind you, I paid the $99.99 to watch this spectacle) I didn’t think Conor had much of a chance because of the dynamics of the fight. But he agreed to them. If it were a UFC fight, Floyd would have completely gotten his ass handed to him.
Now it’s all over. The questions have been answered. The money will be paid. And the fact that is was a success, for all the reasons it came about in the first place, probably means we will see these two square off again.
And I, like many of you reading this, will most likely fork out the cash to see it all again.
Sports are entertainment. At the end of the day, were we not all entertained?