Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone as the long-awaited boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor blew the roof off T-Mobile Arena last Saturday night (Aug. 26, 2017) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
It was a bout that actually lived up to its billing, despite the fact that many in the combat sports world dismissed the booking as nothing more than a money-grab, an exhibition match, or a mockery of the sport of boxing.
Pick your flavor.
Nevertheless, McGregor didn’t look like a fish out of water inside the ring. Sure, he didn’t fight like a world-class boxer, but he didn’t mirror a novice, either. What he did look like was a fighter ready to bang, taking it to “Money” early and often, winning the first three rounds rather handily.
Perhaps it was the fact that Conor was going in there with no pressure whatsoever that allowed him to be loose initially, changing stances constantly and even putting his hands behind his back on a few occasions.
In the end, however, Mayweather’s experience — or composure — broke through, as he took advantage of an exhausted McGregor by picking up the pace in the later rounds, eventually earning a technical knockout victory in the tenth round.
Still, credit has to be given where it’s due, as Conor made Floyd fight. Perhaps Mayweather was going in there much looser, too, as he knew he had a big striking advantage over his foe, which allowed him to break his mold of being a careful fighter, picking up his intensity to fulfill his promise of a finish.
While Floyd picked up win number 50, McGregor picked up loads of respect from the combat sports world — or sports world in general — after taking the best ever to deep waters. As for what’s next for McGregor, he still has plenty of business to handle inside the Octagon, as he is fully expected to defend his Lightweight title.
While Kevin Lee and Tony Ferguson are set to fight for the interim 155-pound strap at UFC 216 in a few months, UFC president Dana White wouldn’t commit to having the winner face “Notorious” in a title unification match. That’s because Khabib Nurmagomedov could slide in to take the No. 1 contender spot once he’s healthy.
Even then, Conor isn’t too sure he won’t take yet another boxing match before returning to the eight-walled cage.
“I’m certainly open to hearing what WME-IMG wants, and what Showtime wants,” McGregor said during the post-fight presser. “And if they want me to come over to boxing again, then we can talk. I have many contenders in the mixed martial arts game. I have a trilogy fight with Nate Diaz that’s sitting there. I have options. I’ll see what’s what. I’m here to fight. I’m certainly fresh. I’m certainly fresh to fight. I was not badly damaged there. It was fatigue. So we’ll see what’s next. We’ll see what offers come on the table.”
Not exactly what the 155-pound division wanted to hear.
But, those are the perks of being McGregor, as he can pick and choose his battles. And since he now commands even bigger paydays, all the rest of the division can do is sit back and wait.