Ultimately, Mayweather and McGregor provided a show that backed the theatrics of the promotion of the fight. McGregor, 29, fighting in his first professional boxing match, displayed skilled aggression in the earlier rounds but simply wasn’t enough to maintain the pace that Mayweather dictated for the fight.
In the 7th round, McGregor began to wither due to fatigue as Mayweather began his onslaught on the challenger, proving that he is still the best even at 40 years old.
“Our game plan was to take our time, go to him, let him shoot his shots early and then take him out down the stretch,” Mayweather said. “We know in MMA, he fights for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, he started to slow down. I guaranteed to everybody that this wouldn’t go the distance.”
McGregor, who previously predicted he would knock out Mayweather within the first four rounds, had rarely gone the distance in his UFC bouts but said after the fight that he could have gone on beyond the stoppage.
“I’ve been strangled on live TV and came back,” he said. “When you’re in here in the squared circle, everything is different. Let the man put me down — that’s fatigue, that’s not damage.”
McGregor said he would consider boxing again and would also return to fight in the UFC.
Mayweather announced after the bout that he will not be returning to the squared circle, claiming to have made amends to the public for his previous lackluster match against Manny Pacquiao.
“I think we gave the fans what they wanted to see,” Mayweather told Showtime ringside reporter Jim Gray after the fight. “I owed them for the Pacquiao fight. I had to come straight ahead and give the fans a show. That’s what I gave them.”
Mayweather, fighting in his hometown of Las Vegas, will retire at 50-0 overall as a professional, one better than the late boxing legend Marciano, who finished his career with at 49-0 with 43 knockouts.
Also on the card was Mayweather protégé and Baltimore native Gervonta “Tank” Davis, who also maintained his undefeated status by conquering Francisco Fonseca.
Davis was set to defend his IBF junior lightweight world championship but was stripped of his title because he was overweight at the time of the fight. Davis came in at 132 lbs., placing him above the 130-pound limit for the fight.
Davis (19-0, 19 KOs), who is only 22, landed a suspect blow to Fonseca in the back of his head, forcing the knockout.
Fonseca maintained that the blow was illegal.
“I threw the shot as he put his head down,” Davis said. “I was definitely going to stop him eventually. He was in trouble before the last shot.”
Davis concluded with a forewarning to the rest of the 130-pound division: “I’m going to stay at 130 pounds and try to get my title back. I still want to unify the junior lightweight division.”