You can read the full report from tonight’s fight here:
Conor speaks: “I thought it was close ... I get a little floppy when I get tired ... [Floyd] was a lot more composed. You’ve got to give it to him ... I don’t know if I will box again”
Floyd Mayweather announces his retirement
Floyd: “I chose the right dance partner for my last dance ... this was my final fight”
Floyd - now 50-0 in his career - speaks after the fight: “[Conor]’s a tough competitor - we gave the fans what they wanted to see
“He’s a lot better than I thought he was ... he used different angles. But I was the better man ... It was our gameplan to take our time and take him out down the stretch.”
The two men embrace in the ring. There’s clearly respect from Floyd - and no wonder, the rookie lasted 10 rounds with one of the great fighters. Conor lacked two things as the fight went on - his punches lacked bite and he just didn’t have the legs to last through a 12-round fight.
Floyd Mayweather wins by TKO!
I think Conor needs a KO now to win - but as he tires he’s losing any kind of power in his punches. It’s his lack of experience at a fight going this long that’s really hurting him. And Floyd comes forward - he’s rocked by a big right. The Irishman doesn’t go down though and continues. But his legs have gone and Floyd goes in for the kill - and the ref stops it.
Conor has never fought for so long in a single professional fight. Maybe he knows he needs to go for the knockout because he charges out for the start of the round. He appears to have got in a big body blow but he’s warned for a low blow. As the fighters are separated, Conor puts in a late blow. With around 90 seconds to go, Conor check the clock and Floyd gathers hmself and comes in for the kill. He’s picking the Irishman off at will now and Conor tries to go into the clinch. The rookie’s hands are dropping. This could be over soon.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Mayweather 10-9 McGregor (Mayweather 87-84 McGregor)
A lovely sidestep from Conor to avoid Mayweather’s blow - he looks light on his feet still but it’s his arms that appear tired: he’s just not hurting Floyd. That said, the Irishman gets a few blows in before Floyd counters. He ends the round an uppercut before Conor follows a right to the body with a head shot. Floyd’s round ... just.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Mayweather 10-9 McGregor (Mayweather 77-75 McGregor)
And we’re into the second half of the fight. Conor hasn’t KO’d his opponent like he said he would - but this is more impressive than a victory through a wild punch. Remember that MMA fights don’t last as long as 12-round boxing contests so endurance could tell. Then again, Floyd is 40...
Conor turns Floyd again - a lot of shoving from the Irishman and he looks tired. Floyd catches him with a few more - and Conor’s punches look a little slow and sluggish.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Mayweather 10-9 McGregor (Mayweather 67-66 McGregor)
Whatever happens now, Conor has won respect. Floyd turns his back on McGregor and he gets rocked. The veteran looks far less calm than the rookie. But Mayweather comes forward and catches McGregor with some good blows and the Irishman’s hands drop. Conor sticks his tongue out and chuckles - he’s having fun. $100m worth of fun. It’s even on my scorecard going into the seventh.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Mayweather 10-9 McGregor (Mayweather 57-57 McGregor)
Floyd is out of his corner first to start the fifth - not bad for a 40-year-old. Conor is proving an awkward opponent for Floyd - coming in at odd angles and using his weight advantage in clinches. If this goes deep and Conor is still ahead Floyd could be in trouble - he is not a knockout puncher these days by any means. A good left from Mayweather with 30 seconds left of the round.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Mayweather 10-9 McGregor (Mayweather 47-48 McGregor)
Conor peppers Floyd with some body shots - one is a little south of the torso in the forbidden place and Floyd lets the ref know. On two minutes, Conor lands a big left but Mayweather counters and catches his opponent a few times. Floyd is coming forward more now and pushing the pace a little. Conor’s punches are starting to look more tired - they’re almost pushed. Conor still leads overall on my card though.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Mayweather 10-9 McGregor (Mayweather 37-39 McGregor)
McGregor throws another hammer punch at the back of Mayweather’s head and is warned again - fine in MMA, not so much in boxing. He needs to be careful or he’ll be penalised. Conor looks a lot bigger than his opponent and is leaning on Floyd, tiring him out. Floyd is smiling but Conor is working his jab well and catches Floyd with a few. A better round for Floyd but - and I’m shocked to say this - the Irishman has won all three rounds so far by my count.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Mayweather 9-10 McGregor (Mayweather 27-30 McGregor)
Conor said he would KO his opponent early. Let’s see what he can do. He gets a little excited and aims some punches at the back of Mayweather’s head - the ref warns him. Mayweather then lands a right hand. But Conor switches stance to land a flurry of blows. Conor looks ... can I say comfortable? His punches are a little crude but they are landing. Floyd has thrown very few punches so far.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Mayweather 9-10 McGregor (Mayweather 18-20 McGregor)
Conor said he would attack and he’s true to his word. He gets in a few body blows but Mayweather absorbs them. He’s known for figuring his opponents out early and letting them attack. Irish “Oles!” ring around the arena. Floyd goes for a bigg-ish straight that Conor dodges - and the Irishman then stands with his arms behind his back. Excellent showboating. McGregor hasn’t looked out of his depth - but it’s still early. I have to give that round to the Irishman - he was more aggressive. He landed one good uppercut counter.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Mayweather 9-10 McGregor (Mayweather 9-10 McGregor)
Floyd announced next with that 49-0 record. Plenty of boos - boos that he thrives on. Only Darth Vader enjoys his villainy more and [SPOILER ALERT] he died in Return of the Jedi.
Conor is announced first. They can’t give his boxing record as he doesn’t have one. But he’s 21-3 in MMA for what it’s worth. Conor has really perfected the stare down the camera. I am mildly intimidated and I’m in the safety of my seat.
Just a recap: we’ll have 12 rounds tonight.
And here comes Floyd ... in a mask. I assume it’s Floyd anyway, the mask doesn’t help. Cheers from the crowd - but plenty of boos too. Not that Floyd minds - he is well used to playing the villain and has made plenty of money out of it.
Conor is making his way to the ring. He stares down the camera and then raises his fists as he enters the arena. A big roar from the crowd (or the Irish part of it anyway). He allows himself a little smile once he’s in the ring - if he’s nervous he’s doing a good job of disguising it.
Tale of the tape
We’re not far off now. The anthems are being played. While we wait here’s how the two men measure up. You will note that Conor McGregor has never lost a boxing fight:
Mayweather v McGregor
40 Age 29
49 Fights 0
49 Wins 0
26 KOs 0
0 Draws 0
0 Losses 0
5ft 8in Height 5ft 9in
149.5lbs Weight 153lbs
Ed emails in: “Fantasy fights I’d pay big money to see: Trump vs Putin. What would be yours, Tom?” I would pay to see me v Mayweather - as long as I was paid $30m.
Just a reminder that the fighters will compete in lighter than usual 8oz gloves. That could theoretically help McGregor, whose victory hopes are pinned on a knockout.
Looks like the delay won’t last too long:
Shots of Floyd in the locker rooms as Conor and Floyd make their final preparations. Conor is stripped to the waist and has his hands wrapped. Floyd a little behind, getting his hands wrapped and still in his tracksuit. The cheers are louder in the arena for Conor, not surprising given the huge Irish contingent who have travelled to Vegas for the fight.
As is customary in any event when nothing is happening on the internet, we will resort to pictures of famous people:
And now we await the main event, which is likely to be delayed due to issues with the pay-per-view system.
Davis wins by KO - Mayweather-McGregor next up
Davis appears to have won after Fonseca was counted out but it looks like he believes he was hit on the back of his head. The decision stands but replays suggest Davis illegally hit Fonseca received an illegal punch when he went down. Because Davis failed to make weight, the title is vacant - but he;s expected to move up weight class anyway.
Apparently there are issues with the pay per view ordering system - the same problem happened for Mayweather-Pacquiao - so the start of the main event may well be delayed.
Here’s Paul Dixon: “That clip of McGregor affectedly sipping his water should be fooling no-one. He looks about as calm as Walter Sobchak”:
Davis is now showboating beautifully. He stands with his hands behind his back and stares down Fonseca before unleashing a big uppercut on his opponent. Fonseca comes back though and hits the American with a few one-twos.
Davis is unloading on his opponent in the third round of the final undercard fight. He must be one of the most powerful punchers pound-for-pound in the world - Fonseca is doing very well to hang on.
Here’s that interview with a calm and cool Conor:
LeBron James would have more chance of beating Floyd than Conor does. Discuss:
Gervonta Davis is about to take to the ring for the final undercard fight. I saw him fight in New York a while back and he was brilliant - one of the most electrifying athletic performances I’ve witnessed live (bear in mind I am a Birmingham City and New York Jets and Mets fan, so that’s not saying a huge amount).
Conor McGregor speaks
Conor is talking on Showtime. He says he’s around 170lbs heading into the fight.
He’s asked why he is so calm: “I’m all business on fight night ... I’m a seasoned veteran ... I don’t care about his record ... a fight is a fight. My hard work, my focus that’s where I get my confidence.
“[Tonight I want to] paint a beautiful picture. I see myself outclassing this man and putting him to sleep.”
Just one more fight before the main event as Baltimore’s Gervonta Davis meets Francisco Fonseca of Costa Rica. Necessary background: The 22-year-old Davis, who captured the IBF junior lightweight title in January to become the second youngest world champion in boxing, defended the belt against mandatory challenger Liam Smith in May but was stripped of it yesterday when he failed to make the 130lb division limit. Now the little-known Fonseca, a 15-1 underdog at the MGM Grand sports book, can win the title if he upsets Davis in a scheduled 12-rounder. But if Davis wins, the title will remain vacant. It’s a shame for Davis, but he’ll still have an opportunity to put on a show and score an 18th knockout in 19 pro fights before an audience replete with casual sports fans.
Good to see Conor getting hydrated. Hopefully he’ll take his glasses off before the fight:
Here’s Aran on email: “Watching McGregor’s training videos it struck me how slow and pedestrian he looks. MMA doesn’t have the sheer volume of striking that boxing does, all the jabs and McGregor seems to, understandably, be finding it difficult to adjust. No doubt there is a bit of subterfuge in the public stuff but frankly I can’t see McGregor with more than a 50-1 ‘lucky punch’ chance. Only reason that Mayweather will lose is if he thinks he can make more money that way in a rematch but I really don’t see it. Weight advantage won’t count for much if McGregor can’t touch him and unfortunately for us much of this fight will be Mayweather slipping and bobbing out of the way whilst building up points.”
Yep, I’ve wondered if Floyd keeps it close enough - but still wins - in order to set up another fight (and another $300m). He’s certainly skilled enough to control a fight to the point where he can decide his margin of victory.
In the undercard, Cleverly’s reign as WBA light heavyweight champion has come to an end. Jack punished him with some big body shots and was bleeding heavily when the ref stopped it in the fifth.
Here’s Daniel Strauss with an email: “Would you take $30m to get pummeled by Floyd Mayweather? Because, let’s face it, you and I would get pummeled at least as much as McGregor will. I don’t know, is it worth it?”
I would get pummelled way more than Conor will. It would take me around three seconds before I started crying - if I made it into the ring at all. But, in answer to your question, I would take $30m to be beaten up - I was beaten up for free at school so any money would be welcome.
Floyd is being interviewed on Showtime - he looks chipper and says once again that “it won’t go the distance”. He is asked if, now that the promotion is over, McGregor can fight: he says he can. Floyd also thanks everyone who is watching on pay per view - as you would if someone just gave you $100.
Conor McGregor has entered the building, ladies and gentleman. Say what you want about his boxing skills but the man can strut:
Yet another Conor backer. I am yet to get an email from anyone who thinks Floyd will win - maybe I’ll just send myself an email. Anyway, here’s Christopher O’Loughlin:
“Although nobody has seen McGregor “box”, let’s not forget that he is a 29 year old beast fighting, and I do mean fighting, a 40 year old who has never fought nor boxed a man this big, this mean, this tough and who knocks people the proverbial [EXPLETIVE DELETED ON FAMILY WEBSITE] out.
“It would be remiss of me, and downright careless to exclude the fact that a British publication should know better than to underestimate the might and power of any Irishman.”
Cleverly, the WBA light heavyweight champion, enters the ring to take on Jack. Cleverly is also (I think) the only reigning world boxing champion with a degree in mathematics. The fight will be across 12 rounds.
We have a Conor backer! Here’s Phil Popick, who has emailed in with his prediction:
“My prediction is that McGregor will win the fight, because at fight time McGregor will be 20 pounds heavier than Floyd. In the clinches the extra weight will wear on Floyd.
“Also the extra weight will give an advantage on power punches. Conor doesn’t have to be accurate, just has to throw punches to make Floyd arm weary (blocking punches). By the eight rounds Floyd will end the fight by not coming out at the bell.”
Just to emphasise: Floyd Mayweather has never lost a professional fight and has faced incredibly skilled boxers. Conor McGregor has never fought professionally. Bryan Graham looks back on Floyd’s exceptional career here:
No wonder these two men are pulling in $100m for this fight - a beer alone at the arena is $15. Then again, if you can afford a ticket you can probably spare $15 - although you will be forced to drink Bud Light:
Tabiti and Cunningham has lasted the full 10 rounds and it is Tabiti who maintains his unbeaten record with a victory on unanimous decision. Two more fights before the main event: next up is Nathan Cleverly v Badou Jack.
Ian Copetake writes in: “Is there much throwing of jabs in MMA? I actually do hope Conor lands a freak punch on the other guy so we get a rematch in an octagon.” Our own Bryan Graham thinks that McGregor will fail to land a significant blow tonight, which is sensible considering Mayweather is the greatest defensive boxer of all time, and Conor has as much – or less – professional boxing experience than every single reader of this liveblog.
So far, six $1m bets have been put on the fight - all on Mayweather. ESPN reports that the fight is estimated to pull in $80m in bets in Nevada alone, by far the most for a boxing event in history. At the time of writing, Floyd is around 1-4 to win this fight with Conor a ridiculously short 7-2 - that’s a sign of bookmakers of trying to cover their losses if the Irishman wins rather than a reflection of his chances of winning.
Just in case you’re trying to watch the fight/undercard on UFC’s Fight Pass, there are a few problems. Although you had probably already figured that out:
The last of the non-televised undercard fights is in the books after Cuba’s Yordenis Ugas’s unanimous-decision win over Puerto Rico’s Thomas Dulorme in a 10-round welterweight bout that saw both men taste the canvas. That means three more fights until the main event starting with a 10-round cruiserweight tilt right now between unbeaten prospect Andrew Tabiti and Steve Cunningham, a former two-time world titleholder who’s well past his best. This is a case of a faded champion being served up to a young comer and it’s playing out before a T-Mobile Arena that’s 95% empty. That’s fairly true to form for big fights in Las Vegas where the arena typically doesn’t fill up until the penultimate bout. But tonight’s undercard, already a dire affair, was dealt yet another blow yesterday when Mayweather protégé Gervonta Davis lost his IBF junior lightweight title on the scale when he missed weight by two pounds. Not a good look, though he did apologize.
While Conor will in all probability end this evening as the loser (albeit a very rich loser), it shouldn’t be forgotten he is a brilliant MMA fighter and is easily UFC’s most bankable star since Ronda Rousey’s decline. Our own star, Donald McRae, went to Dublin this month to trace McGregor’s roots - it’s well worth a read while you wait for fight:
Just in case you’re wondering about the exact make-up of the card tonight. We have seven excellent boxers on show:
The arena is roughly 10% full as Tabiti and Cunningham are introduced for their undercard fight (there are two more after this before the main event). The atmosphere was a little livelier during the weigh-in yesterday when McGregor was ... excitable:
The Showtime PPV coverage has started with a bold statement: that this is not about the money but about who is the better boxer. I tend to disagree: this is about the money and Floyd Mayweather is the better boxer. Conor will make a minimum of $30m tonight, Floyd $100m. But the ceiling for the Irishman is estimated at around $100m (for the non-economists out there, that is a lot of money) and for Floyd it’s $350m (for the non-economists out there, that is A LOT of money). More on the finances here:
Twenty five percent of One Direction have spoken (more than 25% of One Direction may have spoken but I don’t follow them all on Twitter)! Note that Niall doesn’t predict a Conor victory, but it’s nice to see he’s showing his support:
The Ugas v Dulorme undercard fight went the full 10 rounds with winning by unanimous decision. Next up is Andrew Tabiti v Steve Cunningham.
If McGregor is to spring one of the biggest upsets in boxing history, his inexperience may end up being the deciding factor - we spoke to the light heavyweight world champion Andre Ward last week and he said unpredictability is the Irishman’s main/only hope:
“Obviously McGregor is at a glaring disadvantage because they are competing at Mayweather’s craft, his discipline,” said Ward, “but McGregor’s advantage is that he is different, he’s an unknown, Floyd doesn’t know what to expect.”
You can read more thoughts from Ward here:
Many people - myself included - have been looking for a rough comparison for McGregor’s chance with other sports. The most popular one seems to be that this fight is the equivalent of an Olympic decathlete taking on Usain Bolt in the 100m. That may not tell the whole story - Mayweather’s prime is way behind him and he perhaps hasn’t dominated his sport in the same way that Bolt has the 100m (although unlike Bolt he has never lost). I’d maybe say it’s like an Olympic decathlete taking on a 40-year-old Bolt in the 100m. But with more swear words. And more money.
The Las Vegas Golden Knights (you knew Las Vegas had a hockey team, right?) are piggybacking hard on this one. There is also a joke somewhere about the Golden Knights hosting more even boxing contests in the coming months than this one - I will leave you, the reader, to construct them.
We assembled a panel of writers and fighters to predict who’s going to win tonight and the decision was ... 5-0 in Floyd’s favour. Then again, the experts failed to call Brexit or the US election (or the Premier League 2015-16) so Conor will breeze it*. As our panel’s pro boxer put it:
Conor’s got a puncher’s chance, but your fat grandma who just got done eating Sunday’s after-church dinner has a puncher’s chance. The margin is so large between them. I don’t really see any answer that McGregor can have for all of the things that Floyd can do in the fight. I don’t give him much of a chance at all.
You can read all our predictions here:
Hello and welcome to live monitoring of Floyd Mayweather’s retirement fund. We’re deep in the undercard at the moment - Mayweather and McGregor are due in the ring around 8pm Vegas time (11pm ET/4am BST/in three hours) although once they have showboated a little (and both men can do that) it will be closer to 8.30pm local time. Thomas Dulorme v Yordenis Ugas is next up on the card. After that we have four fights before the main event. Controversially, all fights on the undercard will contain two professional boxers.
Tom will be here shortly, in the meantime here’s Bryan Graham on the fight:
Lou DiBella was near the end of an 11-year run as an executive at HBO when a young fighter walked into his office looking to renegotiate his contract with the network. The year was 1999 and Floyd Mayweather was the 22-year-old super featherweight champion of the world.
The offer on the table was a four-fight, $5m extension. It was, HBO insisted, one of the best contracts any young fighter in the world had been offered. But for the Olympic bronze medallist who had signed with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions, it was a non-starter. Or, as he put it at the time, “slave wages”.
“I’m not any young fighter,” Mayweather told the room. “I’m not like the rest of those guys. I’m going to be the greatest. I’m never going to lose.”
And here we are. Nearly two decades on, Mayweather is widely recognised as the finest boxer of his generation, unbeaten in 49 professional fights and 26 world championship contests with titles in five weight classes. He will surpass $1bn in career earnings whether he wins or loses in Saturday’s 12-round boxing match against Conor McGregor, a two-division UFC champion who is making his professional boxing debut.
But as the 40-year-old from Michigan prepares for what appears to be his final ring outing, he remains a figure with a complex legacy that can only be drawn in shades of grey. He overcame a chaotic upbringing filled with drug abuse and violence to rise to the 1% but in turn has been dogged by allegations, and a conviction, of domestic abuse. As the frontman for his nascent promotional company, he speaks passionately and credibly about advocating on behalf of fighters but when I asked him last week about his thoughts on Charlottesville, he pirouetted from the query with the elusiveness he’s shown for years. Ali on Vietnam this was not: states are neither red nor blue on Floyd’s map, only green.
Click here for the rest of the article: