LAS VEGAS (AFP) – Floyd Mayweather outclassed Conor McGregor with a 10th-round stoppage here Saturday to win their money-spinning superfight and clinch his 50th straight victory.
Former welterweight boxing champion Mayweather, who had emerged from a two-year retirement to take on the Irish mixed martial arts star, took his time to get going before dominating from the fourth round.
The end came with a tired McGregor doubled over on the ropes as Mayweather landed two hard left hooks, prompting referee Robert Byrd to intervene and declare a technical knockout.
It was an explosive finale to their much-hyped contest at the T-Mobile Arena which proved surprisingly competitive in the early rounds as McGregor managed to land a string of scoring punches.
But once Mayweather began to find his range and McGregor wearied rapidly, there was only going to be one winner.
The 40-year-old American scored at will after the fourth round, snapping back McGregor’s head with a series of stinging blows.
McGregor somehow survived an onslaught in the seventh round when a right counter from Mayweather staggered him badly.
Finally McGregor’s resistance broke in the 10th when a Mayweather right sent him lurching across the ring.
A hard left put him on the ropes and another hook saw him bent over and helpless, prompting the stoppage.
Mayweather will now head into what he says is a permanent retirement with a perfect 50-0 record, one better than heavyweight legend Rocky Marciano.
The American is also expected to be around $200 million wealthier, taking his career earnings to around $1 billion.
McGregor, who was an unemployed former plumber four years ago before emerging as one of the biggest stars of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, is expected to earn around $100 million.
McGregor awed by clinical Floyd
Meantime, McGregor saluted Mayweather’s clinical boxing masterclass here Saturday – but insisted he felt he could have fought on beyond a 10th round stoppage.
The 29-year-old Irish mixed martial arts star began bravely and won the first three rounds but was ultimately outclassed by the vastly more experienced Mayweather.
Afterwards McGregor, who had never boxed professionally before Saturday’s bout at the T-Mobile Arena, praised Mayweather’s composed demolition job.
“He’s composed, he’s not that fast, he’s not that powerful, but boy is he composed in there,” McGregor said.
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