It was the perfect end to an illustrious career for the 40 –year old Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather.
Shortly after 6am local time the ‘big ‘fight’ finally got underway, following a frustrating delay which lasted for over an hour. The cause of the delay? PPV outages – live-streaming pay-per-view networks crashing from the number of viewers tuning in – an unexpected and probably embarrassing moment for the big operators and reminiscent of Mayweather’s fight with Manny Pacquiao in 2015 when technical glitches caused similar problems.
That didn’t stop festivities around the world, where millions waited patiently for the fight to begin – including those gathered here in Cape Town at The Fireman’s Arms.
Both fighters were relaxed during the build-up. Shortly after a confirmation was received that the networks had been rebooted and were functioning, Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor entered the ring.
The fight picked up in intensity from early on, with an energised McGregor showing off his youthful advantage through the opening rounds. Despite ‘The Notorious’ having been schooled – and a proven champion – in the MMA discipline, he certainly held his own in the boxing ring. The Irishman was bold and quick from the get-go.
Mayweather cut a defensive stance, allowing McGregor to work in search of a chink in the professionally-undefeated boxer’s armour. The Michigan-born holder of 15 world titles stood his ground and absorbed the onslaught, occasionally landing intelligent blows, and as the rounds rolled by, began to stamp his authority over the tiring UFC star.
Come 8th round and the gears had been shifted firmly in favour of ‘Money’. His opponent had been on the receiving end of a few heavy blows in the previous round, one stinging shot sending McGregor’s head snapping back. The American marched forward, keeping a high guard and began to close up shop.
By the 10th round the fight was over. A TKO was declared in favour of Mayweather, with a fatigued and hurt McGregor on the ropes. In his final round of professional boxing before retirement, ‘Money’ began unloading big shots from deep upon his dazed opponent.
That now brings a perfect 50-0 tally to the now-former boxing legend.
When asked about how his Irish opponent fared, he remarked “He a tough competitor. I think we gave the fans what they wanted to see. He’s a lot better than I thought he was. He used different angles. He was a tough competitor. Our game-plan was to take out time, let him shoot his heavy shots early. I guaranteed everybody that this wouldn’t go the distance. Boxing is a hell of sport, MMA is a hell of a sport. Rocky Marciano is a legend and I look forward to going down in the hall of fame one day. This was my last fight ladies and gentlemen.”
Photography Sky Sports