Las Vegas exhibition bout excites

Photo courtesy of | Floyd Mayweather (right) connects with a punch to the jaw of Conor McGregor (left) on his way to victory. With the knockout win over the weekend, the former boxing champion now plans to retire with a perfect record.

Millions of sports fans around the globe turned their attention to boxing Saturday night for what was one of the most highly anticipated boxing bouts in recent years.

It had a Super Bowl-like feel to it: Whether you had a vested rooting interest or not, you were still forced to choose a side as your friends asked, “Who do you want to win?!”

There was the adrenaline-induced Irishman, Conor McGregor, crossing over into boxing from his usual sport of mixed martial arts in the UFC. Then there was Floyd “Money” Mayweather, a man known for both a criminal history and a spotless boxing record of 49-0. Considered one of the best boxers to ever live, this fight was expected to be an unbelievable mismatch.

As many astute boxing fans liked to point out, the real fight will be on Saturday, Sep. 16 when Gennady “GGG” Golovkin squares off against Canelo Alvarez. One boxing fan pointed out on Twitter, “Mayweather-McGregor is an event, Canelo-GGG is a fight.” Yet, McGregor fans flocked to T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and hoards of McGregor fans around the world gathered eagerly to see if their hero could take down a wizard of a boxer with an unblemished record.

After months of hype that included an international press tour, it was finally time for the boxers to step into the ring. While the boxers were getting ready for their fight, viewers were busy fighting with their cable companies and internet providers as streams of the fight consistently crashed. In fact, the fight was delayed because of technical problems with Pay-Per-View. Finally, just after midnight on the east coast, the bell rang and the fighters collided for the first time.

The first three rounds caught everyone by surprise, possibly including the fighters themselves. McGregor lashed out at a frenetic pace, and the Twitter universe was quick to shout “Conserve your energy!” “Don’t tire out too quickly!” Whether by design or not, Mayweather looked genuinely unstable in the first round especially, as McGregor’s unconventional boxing style was put on public display. Some speculated that it was all part of the design for Mayweather– to let McGregor get out to an early lead and wear himself thin. Frankly, that plan, whether it did exist or not, worked.

McGregor started to look at the clock after the first few rounds were over, and that was the first indication of where the fight was headed. In round four, Mayweather started to assert himself and go more on the offensive. Then, from round five through the end of the fight, it was all Mayweather. McGregor was exhausted, and there was really no gas left in the tank. Mayweather threw everything he had, and McGregor kept taking it while doing his best to stay in the fight.

By round nine, he looked utterly exhausted. At that point, it was really just a question of whether Mayweather would win by decision or knockout. It would have taken that “one punch,” that one, powerful, knockout-level punch from McGregor to win the fight. However, that punch never happened. One round later, the referee stopped the fight, declaring Mayweather the victor by TKO. The 40-year-old had defeated the spry 29-year-old.

For those who stayed up to watch, it was high-quality entertainment. Many agreed that it was vastly better than the Mayweather-Pacquio debacle, in which there was little to no action, and everyone who was watching for pure entertainment was sorely disappointed.

This fight produced almost everything people asked for, save for maybe a knockdown, and the man who was heavily favored to win ended up doing just that.

By: Paul Fritschner ~Staff Writer~