Floyd Mayweather eases to Conor McGregor victory with 10th round stoppage as boxing nous proves too much
The Irishman made a bold opening, but was eventually worn down by the American in Las Vegas
Floyd Mayweather delivered on his promise to stop Conor McGregor – but he didn’t have it all his own way.
The boxing legend lost the opening three rounds but found his rhythm to stop the Irishman in the 10th session
In doing so Mayweather stretched his record to 50-0, past the legendary heavyweight Rocky Marciano, having come out of a two-year retirement.
But McGregor defied the predictions of many boxing pundits on his professional debut in Las Vegas.
Having been roared into the ring by the thousands of Irish fans in the T-Mobile Arena, McGregor started as he had promised – on the front foot.
The two-weight UFC champion slung his hands low and forced Mayweather back against the ropes.
At one stage he crossed his hands behind his back in nonchalance.
With one round to his name, McGregor was warned in the second for hitting to the back of the head.
It would be the first of several illegal moves but it was still the underdog who was landing the telling blows
McGregor kept up his early pace in the third round, even if his renowned KO power didn’t seem to have transferred from the Octagon to the ring. But despite finding himself in arrears, Mayweather remained patient before hitting back.
McGregor began to show the first signs of fatigue in the fourth round as the five-weight world champion roared into life.
Referee Robert Byrd was required again in the sixth as McGregor was issued with another warning.
At the halfway stage the scores were level, but the traffic was one-way. From then on, it was a case of when, not if, Mayweather finished the fight.
He piled on the pressure on the ninth stanza and – sensing blood – the crowd rose to add their encouragement
McGregor managed to return to his stool but looked exhausted when he emerged from the corner.
And Mayweather was in no mood to hang around, landing at will until referee Byrd stepped in.
The now-retired-again Mayweather said: “I 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.
“He’s a lot better than I thought he’d be. He’s a tough competitor, but I was the better man tonight.
“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. 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.”