The Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather Jr. boxing match was stopped in the 10th round when it was clear that McGregor was on his way down, giving Mayweather the win by technical knockout.
After a surprisingly strong start, McGregor appeared exhausted in the later rounds of the fight.
By the 10th round, Mayweather was landing big punches to McGregor’s body and face as McGregor flailed against the ropes, not even throwing punches back.
Though there was some debate about whether the referee should have let Mayweather knock McGregor down – McGregor himself said he wished the ref would have let Mayweather knock him out – it was clear that McGregor was spent.
In the end, the fight essentially came down to fitness and one of the most basic differences between boxing and MMA: match length.
McGregor had acknowledged this before the fight, noting that UFC matches max out at five five-minute rounds for a total of 25 minutes. In boxing there are 12 three-minute rounds, totaling 36 minutes. Still, McGregor had said he was training for 12 rounds and was not concerned. He said on “Conan” a week before the fight:
“We’ve made slight adjustments in my cardio preparation. It’s actually been very enjoyable to go from five five-minute rounds, which is what we’re used to, which is 25 minutes, to 12 three-minute rounds of boxing, which is 36 minutes. Slight adjustments, but we are more than ready. I done 12 rounds last night, I’ve done multiple 12-round fights in the gym in the lead-up to this. We are more than ready.
“Floyd is praying for me to fatigue in there, but I will not fatigue. I will continue to press forward, and I will break him. At 40 years of age, he will not sustain my pace.”
It was clear by as early as the seventh round over the weekend, however, that McGregor was wearing down. His form had slipped, and he was tying up with Mayweather more often. At one point in the ninth round, after the two fighters were separated, McGregor fell back into the ropes, unprompted.
After the fight, McGregor said Mayweather was not the hardest puncher but was “composed.”
“He’s not that fast, he’s not that powerful, but boy is he composed,” McGregor said. He added: “I was just a little fatigued. He was a lot more composed, especially in the later rounds.” McGregor also said he got “wobbly” when tired.
Here are the final seconds of the bout, in which McGregor was clearly out of gas:
McGregor acknowledged he was not sure of his boxing future, but should he stay in the sport, one of the biggest challenges will be learning to make it through a 36-minute match.