Earlier this year the biggest combat sporting event in history took place as UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor made his professional boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather Jr.
McGregor did a lot better than expected in the early rounds of the bout, however, it’s widely believed that “Money” took those rounds off to allow the mixed martial arts (MMA) star to exhaust himself. The Irishman did just that in the latter portion of the fight, going on to suffer a 10th-round TKO loss after eating a barrage of unanswered blows.
Mayweather would improve to 50-0 in his legendary career, and McGregor’s young boxing record now sits at 0-1. Mayweather claims that was the last time boxing fans will see him inside the squared circle, but boxing commentator Jim Lampley isn’t buying it.
“Why should he retire? He created a marvelous scam with this whole thing,” Lampley said. “He allowed Conor to quote ‘win’ three rounds so that the whole global MMA wish community could have something to latch on to. I think there’s a decent chance there’s enough suckers out there Floyd could maybe make another $150 million, why not? It’s all a set up.”
Much of the talk centering on McGregor’s return to fighting has been for him to defend his UFC lightweight belt, and indeed it’s a fight that seemingly has to happen soon.
Yet while Dana White has talked of McGregor’s match-up with Mayweather as a one-time thing, the money would still always be there for a rematch – at least in some sense – from casual fans. With the aging “Money” supposedly retired (again), it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him come out of retirement to collect another huge paycheck for a fight he knows he can win.
For our sakes, let’s hope he doesn’t.