Post fight: Undefeated Floyd Mayweather gives humbled Conor McGregor a boxing schooling
Floyd Mayweather has beaten Conor McGregor in Las Vegas, claiming his 50th victory and maintaining his unbeaten record.
McGregor had been written off before the fight, but the Irishman surprised many of his critics with a largely professional display, taking the fight to 10 rounds.
He got off to a flying start, throwing a series of punches at the 40-year-old and scoring a few early points. Displaying some theatrics, the Irishman even put his hands behind his back at one stage.
As the first round wore on, Mayweather went on the offensive but failed to connect and it was the Irishman who was ahead as the bell rung.
In the second round, McGregor continued the assault and easily held his own against the undefeated Mayweather.
McGregor received a warning in the third round as he illegally connected with Mayweather on the top of the head. Despite the breaches, it was a largely controlled, professional display from the MMA fighter.
Mayweather, meanwhile, struggled to stamp his authority on the contest, receiving blows to the head and failing to make an impact on the 29-year-old opponent.
The American found himself against the ropes early in the fourth round as McGregor went on the attack. Despite apparently trailing the Irishman, Mayweather had time for a wink to the cameras in a show of confidence.
But Mayweather is known to be patient and started to find his groove in the fifth round. Pushing the Irishman back, Mayweather landed a number of blows to the body and his pressure started to pay off in the sixth as the Irishman seemed to tire.
In the seventh, he finally started exerting serious pressure on McGregor, getting him on the ropes and landing a hard left hook.
In the eighth, Mayweather maintained the pressure but McGregor remained defiant, landing some shots of his own.
McGregor got Mayweather on the ropes early in the ninth, but Mayweather battered McGregor with a hard right. With the Irishman clearly tiring and with his legs wobbling, Mayweather moved in for the kill but the Irishman survived the round.
The American finished McGregor off in the 10th round, with the referee stepping in to stop the fight.
McGregor started well, but Mayweather showed his quality to come through.
The 40-year-old said afterwards the fight would be his last, before thanking his ‘dance partner’ McGregor.
“He is a tough competitor and I thought we gave the fans what they wanted to see.
“He is a lot better than I thought he was, he used different angles and was a tough competitor but I was the better man tonight.
“Our game-plan was to take our time, let him shoot all his heavy shots early on and then take him down at the end, down the stretch.
“We know in the MMA he fights 25 minutes real hard and after that he starts to slow down.
“I guaranteed this fight wouldn’t go the distance. A win is a win.”
The fight should have gone on, according to McGregor
“I took the early rounds fairly handy,” he said. “I thought it was close, I thought the stoppage was a bit early, there was a lot on the line and I thought he should have let me carry on.
“I was just a little fatigued. He is composed and you have got to give it to him.
“I thought it was close. I get a little wobbly when I’m tired, it is fatigue, the referee could have let it keep going, let the man put me down. I am clear headed.
“Where were the final two rounds? Let me wobble to the corner and make him put me down.
“I’ve been strangled on live TV and came back. When you’re in here in the squared circle, everything is different.”
Gareth A Davies delivers his fight verdict
Brilliant, valiant effort by McGregor. After two lefts on the ropes, referee Robert Byrd has seen enough, protects McG and waves it off. The Telegraph UK