In the biggest boxing event of the year, Floyd Mayweather made good on his promise to end the fight before it went the distance, defeating Conor McGregor by TKO in the tenth round.
To his credit, McGregor outperformed expectations, attacking Mayweather early in the fight and winning the first three rounds in the eyes of many. But as the fight moved to the later rounds, McGregor began to look gassed, struggling to defend himself and inviting Mayweather to do some damage. After a flurry of action in rounds eight and nine from Mayweather, the undefeated fighter put together the winning combination and the referee was forced to step in and stop the fight.
But in the moments after the bell rang and Mayweather was declared the winner, McGregor appeared to have his wits about him, and felt confident that he could have gone the distance.
“Where was the final two rounds?” McGregor asked, in comments reported by ESPN’s Arash Markazi, “Let me walk back to my corner and compose myself.”
“I thought it was close though and I thought it was a bit of an early stoppage. I was just a little fatigued. He was just a lot more composed with his shots.”
McGregor added that he would’ve liked to hit the mat before having the fight called on him, saying “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.”
While frustrated with the stoppage, McGregor gave praise to his undefeated opponent. “I have to give it to him, that’s what 50 pro fights will do for you.”
We don’t yet know what McGregor’s fighting future will hold, but if he makes a return to the boxing ring, chances are he’ll be better prepared to go the full twelve rounds.