LAS VEGAS — In the end, the equation we all knew coming in turned out to be true: The best boxer in the world would beat one of the best mixed martial artists in a boxing match.
How we got there, however, was completely surprising.
In his return from a two-year retirement, Floyd Mayweather improved to 50-0 with a 10th-round TKO over an incredibly game Conor McGregor in their pay-per-view superfight at T-Mobile Arena. But the storyline was just as much about McGregor, the UFC’s lightweight champion, in defeat than it was about the 40-year-old Mayweather.
McGregor, 29, who was making his pro debut, never fought reckless or overly aggressive, which contrasted his prediction of a first-round knockout. What he did was present Mayweather with a poised and credible challenge, teasing a bright future in the boxing game should he consider it.
“He’s a tough competitor. I think we gave the fans what they wanted to see,” Mayweather said. “Our game plan was to take our time, let him shoot all his heavy shots early and then take him out at the end down the stretch.”
Mayweather, who officially announced his retirement after the fight, was true to his prediction throughout the fight’s build when he promised it wouldn’t go the distance. He also stuck to his guns about standing in front of McGregor looking for a finish.