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Mayweather vs. McGregor lived up to the hype

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Andrew Heller, Staff Writer

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On Aug. 26., Floyd Mayweather, the undefeated and five-time World Boxing Champion, defeated Conor McGregor, UFC Lightweight Champion, by a technical knockout in the 10th round during one of the most anticipated fights of all time. The event, informally dubbed by many as “The Money Fight,” was watched by over 6.5 million Pay-Per-View customers and brought in $55.4 million in ticket sales thanks to the 13,321 fans in attendance at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The bout lived up to the hype and then some. This was the first time in the history of professional fighting that two fighters from different sports met in the boxing ring, and the unprecedented match-up was a huge financial opportunity for Las Vegas bookmakers.

Initial estimates state that close to $85 million was wagered on the fight with six separate million dollar bets being placed on Mayweather. Although Mayweather brought in the high rollers, according to ESPN’s Doug Kezirian, much of the $85 million in play was bet on the underdog, McGregor, and his potential victory would have been a disaster for bookies everywhere.

“The big difference in this case is that the financial liability was amplified by the underdog’s significant payout and ticket count. This would have been the largest loss ever on a single event for nearly every sportsbook,” said Kezirian.

Luckily for Las Vegas, McGregor did not pull a Rocky Balboa on Mayweather. Many fans and pundits debated for weeks as to whether or not the lively and in shape McGregor could outbox one of the sport’s most seasoned veterans. However, most boxing specialists saw through the hype and predicted that the UFC fighter would fail in the boxing ring due to the fundamental differences between the two sports.

The specialists were right. McGregor came out of the gate hot and aggressive in the first two rounds, throwing 76 punches and landing 17, while Mayweather patiently maneuvered himself around the ring and only threw 16 punches in total. Then in the fourth, McGregor continued to exhaust himself with a barrage of 64 punches that still didn’t seem to faze Mayweather.

As many experts predicted, McGregor started the fight aggressively and tried tirelessly to land a knockout punch on Mayweather. However, after the fifth round, the fiery McGregor ran out of gas and the real boxer in the ring showed his true stuff.

For the remainder of the fight, Mayweather took the intensity to McGregor as he danced effortlessly around the ring and selected his punches in a timely fashion. Mayweather out punched McGregor from the sixth round on by landing a total of 130 punches to McGregor’s 60. This forced the tired Irishman to resort to throwing illegal hammerfists and frequently holding onto Mayweather; both of which lowered his ratings with the judges.

Finally, in the tenth, veteran boxing referee Robert Byrd stopped the fight after McGregor took a powerful right jab that put him against the ropes. He had also stumbled his way through much of the eighth and ninth rounds. The victory was Mayweather’s 50th all time and brought his record to a perfect 50-0 in competitive boxing, passing Hall of Famer Rocky Marciano’s all-time record of 49-0.

Despite the relentless trash-talking that took place in the weeks prior, both fighters were surprisingly civil and congratulated each other on a well fought bout. All told, the Nevada State Athletic Commission stated that Mayweather earned around $100 million for his victory while McGregor took away $30 million.

However, other reports say that including endorsements and other revenues, Mayweather walked away with around $300 million while McGregor pocketed $100 million. Indeed, “The Money Fight” lived up to its name and proved that boxing is still the king of the fighting sports world.

Still, there were some who thought the fight was just a showy way for both fighters to earn a big pay day. The fight that seemed to be a story of an underdog facing an icon ended up being a predictably flashy display of physical prowess in which neither fighter left the ring seriously injured.

Regardless, it’s hard to be critical when both fighters gave the public exactly what was promised. McGregor lasted ten rounds with one of the greatest boxers of all time and Mayweather stayed cool and composed as per usual.

Other than a knockout, what more can we really ask for?

Andrew Heller is a fifth-year student majoring in English. He can be reached at [email protected]

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The Student News Service of West Chester University
Mayweather vs. McGregor lived up to the hype