For certain we should give Conor McGregor his proper share of praise for his performance in defeat against Floyd Mayweather. Sure he spent the months building up to the fight promising to knock Floyd Mayweather out and was instead himself rendered defenseless in Round 10. But anybody who knew anything about fighting knew Mayweather was going to win inside of the distance. McGregor made it more difficult than most expected.
He came out fighting at a busy and unorthodox pace and took advantage of his reach advantage. The man is an elite professional fighter–nobody should be surprised that he had the fight savvy to pull off a few basic but highly effective techniques, especially early in the bout.
But let’s not make too much out of the performance, either. McGregor might have landed more punches on Mayweather than the majority of his previous opponents. That doesn’t mean he did “better” against Mayweather than they did.
Did Mayweather let McGregor land all those extra punches? Not exactly. But he was willing to fight McGregor in a style that guaranteed he would be hit more often than is normal for him. And make no mmistake–McGregor did not force him to fight that way. Mayweather decided to fight that way, because he wanted the knockout and was not all that concerned over McGregor’s ability to seriously hurt him in return.
The fight ended up being interesting, though, because for once we got to see how good Mayweather could be if he was really going out and trying to finish a guy. He got the job done, but he took his sweet time about it. Clearly Mayweather just doesn’t have that rare ability to turn it up a notch and take a guy out in a hurry. He could never have staged the kind of rally Ray Leonard mustered against Tommy Hearns in their first fight.