There are a lot of boxers and Floyd Mayweather fans who go along with Mayweather’s story. Mayweather said the fight went exactly to plan, but this is far from the truth. Patriotic boxers like Tony Bellow, who is great at what he does, insisted that Floyd carried Conor, and Floyd Mayweather Sr insisted that his son could have knocked out Conor in round one if he wanted, but these guys are all biased, speaking from emotion and in denial.
The truth is, if Floyd was really just waiting for Conor to tire himself out, like he said in the post-fight press conference, Floyd wouldn’t have went for the shots that he went for, and got countered like he did. The truth is, in the early rounds of this record-breaking fight, Conor smoked Floyd. Floyd couldn’t lay a glove on Conor when they were both sharp (in the early rounds). Everyone expected that Conor wouldn’t be able to lay a single punch on Floyd but it was totally the opposite way round! Conor McGregor, who’d never had a pro boxing match in his life, absolutely schooled Floyd Mayweather in the early rounds, then he got tired. Don’t kid yourself into thinking Floyd intended to lose the first few rounds. He got outboxed, plain and simple, then Conor got tired. It’s Floyd’s superior fitness and experience at conserving energy in the ring that won him the fight. When they were both sharp, Conor was putting on a masterclass at how to beat Floyd to the punch, countering his every move perfectly. Conor was also the slightly bigger man – taller and more rangey – it was this size advantage combined with Conor’s better spacial awareness (thanks to his relentless attitude, always being switched on) and plain fistfighting ability that won him the early rounds – don’t act like Floyd wanted to lose those rounds and be made to look stupid like he did.
Floyd also started ducking his head very low persistently after Conor was warned twice about hitting the back of Floyd’s head – this slowed down progress tremendously. How can you punch Floyd’s low head without hitting down from the top (which happens to be the back of his ducking head)? Floyd took full advantage of this to try to get Conor disqualified, or at least reluctant to punch so spontaneously, and the ref rightly warned Floyd to keep his head up but not before Conor was already warned twice and hesitant to punch so spontaneously.
With all this exploitation of the rules, Conor was still proving to be the better fighter but it wasn’t long after this before he became so tired that he was little more than a hobbling punch bag. Nobody can fight when so tired, although an experienced boxer could probably move more efficiently and effectively under such strain in the ring – this was another advantage Floyd had however it never really came into play because Floyd never got very tired at all.
It was Floyd’s superior fitness that won him the fight, with the help of playing dirty –
bending the rules with regards to low head movement which caused him to receive warnings for that and caused Conor to receive warnings for the resultant hits to the back (now the top) of Floyd’s low head. Floyd turned his back, curled up like a baby many times – Conor really smoked him, then he got tired and the rest was history, and the victor always writes the history books.
Let this article serve to put the facts straight for those who’ve only heard Floyd’s pack of lies or the biased assessments by patriotic boxers who deny the significance of what clearly happened in the first half of the fight. Just imagine for a moment what people would be saying if Conor stayed sharp for longer, won the early rounds for longer, and won the fight in the fashion it kicked off with.
Conor won the sprint, and Floyd won the marathon. Real fighting is the sprint – first man to land good shots generally wins. But boxing with big, heavy padded gloves on is the marathon – lightweights (or light-middleweights in this case) can rarely generate the concussive power required to KO their opponent with big gloves on.
Many boxers, like Tony Bellow, and Conor’s enraged ex sparring partner Paulie Malignaggi, are saying Conor was terrible at generating power in his shots while wearing gloves, but Conor stayed balanced enough to counter Floyd’s ‘powerful’ shots without getting hit himself in those early rounds before he got tired. Conor’s way of fighting was less committed thus more balanced and simply superior, until he got tired (a peril of the gloved sport of Western Boxing that has little relevance on the streets unless it turns into wrestling or you’re facing more opponents than you can easily handle).