It took 10 rounds for Floyd Mayweather to defeat Conor McGregor in the boxing legend’s 50th career fight—the UFC fighter’s first career boxing match—but the man they call Money says that was by design.
“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,” Mayweather, 41, said after winning via TKO in the 10th round. “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.
“I want to thank all the fans from Ireland and all the fans around the world for coming to see this event. I couldn’t do any of this without the fans.”
Things were surprisingly close through the first four rounds—between the three judges’ scorecards, Mayweather had seven round victories to McGregor’s five.
But the Irish former two-weight UFC champion then slowed down as Mayweather and his camp had predicted, and wouldn’t win another round before the undefeated boxer ended things in the 10th with a series of pops to the face.
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McGregor is disappointed the referee ended the bout in the 10th—he thinks the fight could have gone the 12-round distance.
“I’ve been strangled on live TV and came back,” McGregor said, referring to his fights with Nate Diaz. “When you’re in here in the squared circle, everything is different. Let the man put me down. That’s fatigue, that’s not damage. Where was the final two rounds? Let me walk back to my corner and compose myself.”
Though he’d like for the fight to have gone on longer, the 29-year-old admits the fatigue was getting to him.
“He’s composed, he’s not that fast, he’s not that powerful, but, boy, is he composed in there,” McGregor said. “I thought it was close though, and I thought it was a bit of an early stoppage. I was just a little fatigued. He was just a lot more composed with his shots. I have to give it to him, that’s what 50 pro fights will do for you.”