Mayweather-McGregor circus entertained us to the last punch

Updated August 27, 2017 - 3:03 am

It was at a media gathering a few weeks ago when Floyd Mayweather said that if Conor McGregor could go the distance and still lose their globally anticipated fight, he would consider it a victory for the crossover UFC star.

It wouldn’t have been, of course. A loss is a loss.

But what is it we saw Saturday night?

The circus followed a script many believed would occur all along, with Mayweather taking a few rounds to figure out McGregor and then relying on a lot more experience and better conditioning, winning via technical knockout at 1:05 of the 10th round at T-Mobile Arena.

It’s true referee Robert Byrd could have allowed the action to continue, that as gassed as McGregor was, he might have been able to survive another round.

But that’s where the fine line between responsible and reckless appears for the third man in the ring.

Mights and maybes are too vague when talking a fighter’s health.

It wasn’t a terrible stoppage. It was more time than not.

McGregor, valiant effort and all, was done.

It is a historic outcome on countless levels for boxing and MMA, beginning with the fact Mayweather has surpassed Rocky Marciano’s renowned record of 49 wins against no defeats and is now 50-0. He has said forever that the mark means little to him, but fewer believe that than thought McGregor had a legitimate chance to win.

They didn’t sell out the fight as promoters from both camps predicted, an announced gathering of 14,623 paying exorbitant prices for certain seats.

“It was a great event,” said Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe. “You’re not always going to get it right (on pricing). We get it right more times than not.”

There were sections of empty seats in the upper levels.

“I guess it was because there weren’t people in them,” Ellerbe said.

Oh.

It was a promotion that began with a world tour of humor and brashness and some vulgarity, and ended with the same sort of technical difficulties that plagued Mayweather against Manny Pacquiao in May 2015. The start of the fight Saturday was delayed as cable operators across the world and the UFC Fight Pass application stalled.

It didn’t reach the point of Showtime searching for some rabbit ears and AAA batteries, but it was closer than the network probably ever imagined.

How this happens in 2017 is a technological mystery, and yet things finally started and the script began its slow, predictable journey.

McGregor deserves all sorts of credit for showcasing his versatile gifts, a UFC champion stepping into a ring for his first professional boxing match and delivering a far more effective effort than odds suggested.

“(Mayweather) is so composed,” McGregor said. “I have to give him great respect. I thought it was close. I just got a little fatigued. He has had a great career. That’s what 50 professional fights will do for you. It was a lot of fun.”

McGregor won the first three rounds — despite what some of the typically bizarre and foolish boxing scores were from two of three judges — before beginning to tire and ending all Irish dreams of an upset that would have trumped any Miracle on Ice or Jets over Colts or Villanova stunning Georgetown or Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson for the summit of sports shockers.

“He is a tough competitor,” said Mayweather, fighting for the first time in two years after coming out of retirement for a guaranteed $100 million to face McGregor. “But the game plan was to let him take all of his shots early and then take him out down the stretch. He got all his power shots off the first 25 minutes, but then he started to slow down.

“This was my last fight. This is it. You won’t see me in the ring again, so whatever young guys are calling me out, forget it. I’m good.”

What now, then?

McGregor will return to the UFC and could possibly fight Dec. 30 in Las Vegas, having only strengthened his standing as one of the world’s more entertaining and talented athletes.

As for boxing, we are three weeks from Canelo Alvarez meeting middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin on Sept. 16 at T-Mobile Arena, when a more conventional promotion will afford us one of the more anticipated fights in decades.

There is a lot of good to that.

But no one can deny the level of worldwide enthusiasm Saturday delivered. Boxing has never been dead — what in the world does that mean, anyway? — and perhaps it even gained more popularity with Mayweather-McGregor.

It was a crazy scene, all right, from beginning to end.

It was great, great theater.

And it ended how you always knew it would.

Send out the clowns. It’s over.

But it was a heck of a ride.

Contact columnist Ed Graney at egraney@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4618. He can be heard on “The Press Box,” ESPN Radio 100.9 FM and 1100 AM from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Follow @edgraney on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Covering The Cage Videos
Covering The Cage: Live Interview With Elias Theodorou
Covering The Cage host Heidi Fang talks with Elias Theodorou to preview UFC on Fox and becoming a ring boy.
Covering the Cage: Roy Nelson interview
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk about the world of MMA as well as interview heavyweight Roy Nelson.
Covering the Cage: Feb. 6 Facebook Live
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang discuss UFC Fight Night 125 as well as preview UFC 221 and UFC 222.
Covering The Cage: Ronda Rousey joins WWE; UFC on Fox 27 recap
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang discuss Ronda Rousey’s move to WWE and recap UFC on Fox 27.
Covering the Cage: Jordan Rinaldi, UFC on Fox 27 preview
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk to fighter Jordan Rinaldi about his upcoming fight and preview the rest of UFC on Fox 27.
Covering The Cage Live: UFC 220 and Bellator 192 Recap
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang recap UFC 220 and Bellator 192.
Covering the Cage: Recapping 2017
Heidi Fang and Adam Hill go over their favorite moments of 2017 and pick their favorite fight, knockout and submission of the year.
Covering The Cage: UFC 219 Recap
Covering The Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang recap tonights fights at UFC 219.
Covering The Cage: UFC 219 Picks
Covering The Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang give their picks for the main card fights at UFC 219.
Covering The Cage: UFC 219 Preview
Covering the Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang preview UFC 219 including Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm.
UFC 219 media day staredowns
Ahead of UFC 219's pay-per-view on Dec. 30, the stars of the main card faced off at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Cris "Cyborg" Justino will face Holly Holm in the main event for the women's featherweight belt.
Covering the Cage: UFC fighter Julian Marquez talks debut victory
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk with UFC fighter Julian Marquez. They discuss the beard competition between Marquez and Tyron Woodley, and the unexpected passing of longtime MMA coach and trainer Robert Follis.
Covering the Cage: Julian Marquez interview
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk about all things going on in the world of MMA and talk to Julian Marquez about his upcoming fight in Winnipeg.
Covering The Cage Live: UFC 218 Recap, TUF 26
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang recap The Ultimate Fighter 26 and UFC 218.
Covering The Cage: TUF 26 Recap, UFC 218 Preview
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang recap The Ultimate Fighter and preview UFC 218.
Covering the Cage: UFC 218, TUF 26 Finale preview
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang make their picks for the "The Ultimate Fighter" Season 26 Finale and UFC 218. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Covering the Cage: Kyra Batara interview
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk to Combate Americas Womens Atomweight Kyra Batara about her upcoming fight in San Antonio as well as Conor McGregor's potential incident at a bar and UFC 218.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like