What Did We Learn From Saturday’s Megafight?
Mayweather-McGregor answered no questions. We all know now exactly what we knew going into Saturday night: Conor McGregor is a talented fighter—just not as good a boxer as his opponent—and Floyd Mayweather is an unmatched tactician in the ring.
McGregor landed more punches than most expected on a man who used to go by “Pretty Boy Floyd” because opponents could never touch his face in a fight. And yet, when all was said and done, Mayweather was true to his newer moniker: Money. Even while eating a few punches early on, Mayweather looked like he was feeling McGregor out—letting his more-eager opponent punch himself out while also dissecting the MMA fighter’s unorthodox boxing style.
Then when he ate even more punches in the later rounds, it became clear Mayweather had no regard for McGregor’s power—it simply didn’t hurt him. The final CompuBox numbers were damning: Conor threw 430 punches and landed 111 while Floyd landed 170 of 320. More importantly, McGregor only landed 84 of 332 power punches (25 percent). Mayweather landed 152 of 261 (58 percent). Praise Conor’s grit all you want, but it was a blowout.
If Saturday proved one thing, it was this: People are schmucks. Many seemed to enjoy the fight—which is fine—but some also made comments like “it was actually worth it” (in reference to the $100-plus Mayweather-Pacquiao pillow fight in 2015). And people wouldn’t stop blowing Conor or Floyd, for going ten rounds against an undefeated boxer or for schooling an MMA fighter in the sweet science.
Does anyone legitimately think that fight was worth its $100 price tag? Forget the pay-per-view issues, the fight straight up wasn’t good. Mayweather dictated the fight all night, letting McGregor put on a show before stealing the stage for the finale. Conor’s ability to last ten rounds against the best boxer in his generation is admirable, but it had to be at least somewhat expected considering his extensive background in combat sports (we’re not talking football to baseball here)—and McGregor never came close to hurting Floyd all night. The duo getting chummy immediately after it ended was a buzzkill, too: It confirmed that all the pre-fight animosity and trash talk were reality TV and that we’d all just watched a glorified celebrity boxing match.
There was actually a real fight going on Saturday night at the Stubhub Center: Miguel Cotto dominated Yoshihiro Kamegai for a junior middleweight belt. Even though the bout was one-sided, it was a proverbial fight in a phone booth, and it was awesome.
You can call me an idiot for not appreciating the spectacle of Saturday night, and you can say people like me are the reason boxing is dying. But if Mayweather-McGregor was an indication of how the sport is evolving, I might have to jump ship to WWE.