In 2017, Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather shared one of the highest-grossing fights of all time.
It is the second most bought pay-per-view in boxing history, second only to Mayweather’s victory over Manny Pacquiao. The intrigue was whether or not a two-time UFC champion with McGregor’s punching power could possibly trouble an all-time great.
Mayweather was aiming to go 50-0, but at 40 he knew his time in the sport was coming to an end.
Although the Irishman did well in the early laps, he soon struggled to physically keep up with the seasoned Mayweather and his gas tank began to run empty.
Mayweather kept the pressure on McGregor and as the rounds progressed McGregor lacked the power to push back out of sheer exhaustion.
In round ten, a barrage from Mayweather saw McGregor stumble into the ropes and at that point the referee decided to intervene.
McGregor’s immediate reaction showed that his self-confidence never wavered.
“It was early, referee. It was early. It was early,” McGregor told manager Robert Byrd.
When McGregor and Mayweather finally met in the middle of the ring after the decision, McGregor told the winner, “I hit you a lot in the early rounds. Your composure is excellent, fair play towards you. A little early, a little early.
He still couldn’t help but insist that the decision had come a little too soon – fantastic stuff.
In his post-fight interview Mayweather also revealed what he said to McGregor and the American had a lot of positive things to say about McGregor.
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Mayweather revealed what the pair said after the fight: “We talked about him being a tough competitor and I think we gave the fans what they wanted to see.
“I told him I owed them [the fans] for the Pacquiao fight I have to come straight and give them a show and that’s what I gave him.
“He is much better than I thought. He used different angles, he’s a tough competitor, but I was the better man tonight.
Nearly five years later, Mayweather has been on a killing spree making exhibition fights against names like Logan Paul, Don Moore and Tenshin Nasukawa.
McGregor is on the way back from a broken leg suffered at UFC 264 last July. The Notorious plans to fight again and is aiming for a return to the octagon.
Surprisingly this week though, Mayweather came out and said he intends to set up a rematch with McGregor in 2023.
At the moment, the Irishman has replied that he’s ‘not interested’ but time will tell if that will continue to be the case.