Undefeated Floyd Mayweather wins fight against Conor McGregor
Just hours before the fighters were to step into the ring, the T-Mobile Arena website had tickets available in every section except one in the upper bowl.
JOHANNESBURG – Floyd Mayweather beat Irishman Conor McGregor by way of technical knockout in the 10th round of their much-hyped megafight on Saturday to keep his perfect record intact.
Mayweather, who came out of retirement at 40 for the fight, improved to 50-0 to surpass heavyweight great Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 record for most wins without a loss or draw.
McGregor, a mixed martial arts champion who was making his professional boxing debut, failed to pull off what would have been the greatest upset in combat sports history but made the fight much more compelling than most experts had predicted.
Just hours before the fighters were to step into the ring, the T-Mobile Arena website had tickets available in every section except one in the upper bowl and the floor with prices ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 for ringside.
McGregor, who made his professional boxing debut, is according to reports guaranteed a $30 million payday that could reach $100 million while Mayweather could pocket as much as $200 million.
Mayweather, who had guaranteed an early finish to the 12 round contest, made good on his promise when he pinned a brave-but-limited McGregor on the ropes and mercilessly hammered the Irishman before referee Robert Byrd stepped in to halt the bout.
“This was my last fight tonight. For sure,” Mayweather declared in the ring. “Tonight was my last fight. Tonight I chose the right dance partner to dance with.
“Conor you are a hell of a champion.
“A win is a win, no matter how you get it. Rocky Marciano is a legend and I look forward to going into the Hall of Fame one day.”
Whether the fight will be the richest of all-time as promoters had predicted will be decided later when pay-per-view numbers come in, but it certainly will not be included on any list of the great bouts in boxing.
On paper it would be hard to find a bigger mismatch, but it did not prevent millions around the globe from reaching for their wallets to purchase a pay-per-view package or the 14,623 spectators at T-Mobile Arena to part with big money for tickets.
In the end, the fight proved to be the one-sided contest many had predicted as Mayweather shook off the rust of two years of inactivity against an outclassed double UFC champion making his professional boxing debut.
For months, the charismatic McGregor had boasted he would knock out Mayweather and his legions of loyal fans believed every word of a man capable of backing his supreme self-confidence with devastating power inside the octagon.
However, McGregor’s lack of ring savvy quickly exposed him as Mayweather clinically dissected the 29-year-old, who was soon reverting to his mixed martial arts roots, clutching, grabbing and hitting his opponent repeatedly on the back of the head.
McGregor did come out full of fury and menace but Mayweather, long regarded as one of the finest defensive fighters in history, left few openings as he used the first three rounds to feel out his opponent.
Once he had studied McGregor’s technique, Mayweather took complete control of the contest by the fourth round and started to land blow after blow on his easy target as the Irishman bravely battled on.
The American’s domination was complete by the 10th round as he moved in for the kill to record his first early finish since he stopped Victor Ortiz in a controversial fashion almost six years ago.
“I thought it was close,” a defiant McGregor argued. “I thought I had him in the early rounds. I thought he was getting me in the middle toward the end.
“But where was the final two rounds? Let me wobble back to my corner. Let me try and re-compose myself. You’ve got to put me out.
“I thought it was a little early of a stoppage. I get like that when I am tired. I get a little wobbly and flowy. But you got to give it to him, that’s what 50 pro fights will give you.”
There was be no titles on the line, only a gaudy “Money Belt” with a strap made from crocodile leather and featuring 24 karat gold, 3,360 diamonds along with sapphires and emeralds, but much will be riding on the result.
For Mayweather, it was the culmination of a life’s work, a chance to surpass former heavyweight great Rocky Marciano, who retired with a perfect 49-0 career record.