I had very little interest in Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor as a fight, but I couldn’t resist visiting a bar Saturday night to watch the spectacle unfold. It is not that often that fight fans have a chance to watch a bout surrounded by “civilians.”
The last time such a fight took place was when Mayweather faced Manny Pacquiao. I was up all night live blogging that fight and writing responses for another website, so watched it holed up in my office. If I were going to pick a fight to watch with casual and non-fans, Mayweather vs. McGregor was the better one to pick.
The Irishman made a halfway decent fight and deserves credit for that. He threw more punches than Pacquiao did, in two fewer rounds. His larger frame and physical style were not exactly problems for Mayweather, but McGregor did push Mayweather to fight in a more open, give-and-take style.
Nobody should argue that McGregor made the fight competitive. I think it is fair to give McGregor the first three rounds, although I only gave him the first two. I thought Mayweather gave him those two rounds while studying him. By Round 3, I felt it was pretty clear that Mayweather was taking control of the fight.
From the third round on, the eventual outcome was always obvious. The fact that it took into Round 10 is a testemant to how cautious Mayweather is, as a matter of course. It shows, as well, that perhaps his offensive skills are ultimately a bit lacking when compared to other all-time elites. He has never really been in a position where he had to go out and pursue a knockout so he has never taken the risk.
Saturday night, he was fighting an opponent hand selected because Mayweather knew he could make a lot of money knocking him out. And he was not able to do it easily.
MMA fans will point to McGregor’s performance and claim that he was able to make Mayweather fight where as all the previous contenders Mayweather has faced were unable to do so. But the truth is, Mayweather chose to fight McGregor differently because he didn’t really see much danger in going after him.