In a bizarre breach of reality, Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) lightweight champion “The Notorious” Conor McGregor crossed over to boxing to fight undefeated legend Floyd “Money” Mayweather.
Mayweather, 49-0, hadn’t fought in over 2 years, and was seeking his 50th win, thus holding the most prestigious boxing record of all time. On the other hand, McGregor, 0-0, was stepping into the boxing ring for the first time in his athletic career.
Although many feared that the preflight interviews would be far more entertaining than the fight itself, many critics were pleasantly surprised.
In the first round, McGregor quickly displayed that he was a formidable opponent, out-landing Mayweather, even surprising him with a counter uppercut.
For the next two rounds, the neophyte continued to Outland the veteran and shock the combat community.
However, midway through the fourth round, there was a stark momentum shift. McGregor, who had never boxed before, began feeling the ill-effects of a 12 round boxing match.
As he began to tire, the savvy and experienced Mayweather initiated his own game plan.
Mayweather sought to let McGregor unload in the early rounds, only to dial up his offense in the latter portions of the fight.
With each round that passed, McGregor and Mayweather engaged in a war of attrition, and it was clear that McGregor’s cardio would fail him in due time.
At the start of the tenth round, McGregor had taken too many unanswered shots, and the referee intervened to stop the fight.
“Even as just a casual viewer of fighting, I thought the fight was truly a spectacular example of both men’s talent,” said Emma Stowell, senior chemistry student. “While I am not well-versed on different fighting techniques and styles, the fact that someone from a completely different discipline was able to go ten rounds against a boxer that many consider to be the greatest of all time is definitely nothing to sneeze at.”
Mayweather, now 50-0, has completed his boxing journey and retired in the ring once again. Both men embraced after the fight, squashing their long-running rivalry.
“He’s a lot better than I thought he was,” Mayweather said after the bout. ‘”He used different angles. He was a tough competitor, but I was the better man tonight.’”
With the crowd pleased, the boxing community vindicated, and the MMA community proud, it seemed that this particular outcome was the best scenario for all parties involved.
“I was surprised it lasted that long,” said Jeremy Colon, senior Criminal Justice student. “I think it definitely lived up to the hype, but I think this fight showed both Conor’s ability to hang in the fight as well as Mayweather’s age and fading abilities”
Both men stand to take home extraordinary amounts of money from the evening. Mayweather accepted the fight with a guarantee of at least $100 million.
McGregor was guaranteed at least $30 million, however, Mayweather’s final purse could top $200 million and McGregor’s more than $100 million, according to ESPN.