McGregor danced, Mayweather retreated.
In a fight so intriguing that it cost $10,000 for ringside seats, McGregor turned in respectable performance for someone in his first fight. But Mayweather’s experience and his ring savvy paid off as he executed his game plan to perfection
“Our game plan was to take our time, go to him, let him shoot his shots early, then take him out down the stretch,’’ said Mayweather. “We know in MMA he fights for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, he started to slow down. I guaranteed everybody this wouldn’t go the distance.’’ For the first three rounds at the T-Mobile Arena here Saturday night, the celebrated mismatch between the boxing champion and the mixed martial artist didn’t look much like either sport.
Then Mayweather finally lost patience with the circus and turned it into a sham.
McGregor swatted, Mayweather covered.
Mayweather was guaranteed $100 million and that doesn’t count the promoters check he’ll cash. McGregor was guaranteed $30 million, just a little over $1mill per minute. That’s not a bad night of work.
“If I see an opportunity to make $300 million or $350 million in 36 minutes, why not?’’ said Mayweather, who was fighting for the first time in two years. According to reports, Mayweather also wanted to place a bet on himself to win by knock out but grew tired of waiting and left without placing any bets. However, there are no regulations prohibiting fighters from betting on themselves.
“Tonight was one of those nights when it was a big win for boxing in general,’’ said Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather Promotions CEO.
Nah, it was just one of those nights when boxing was more show than substance, particularly in the crowd, where LeBron James shook hands with Mike Tyson, and where Bigfoot showed up in full Sasquatch clothing to peddle beef jerky. Little of that Hollywood stuff occurred in the ring. It was a fight that wasn’t much of a fight. It was a fitting ending to a two-month promotional journey that was more about smack talk and showmanship than boxing. It might not be what everyone paid for, but it was what everyone deserved.