Many boxing purists seemed to be completely against UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor venturing into the sport to challenge Floyd Mayweather, giving him virtually no shot at defeating one of the greatest the sport has ever seen. Max Kellerman was one of those purists.

At one point Kellerman went as far as claiming that the Irish mixed martial arts (MMA) mega-star wouldn’t land a single punch against “Money,” but as we saw this past weekend (Sat. August 26, 2017) that couldn’t have been farther from the truth. In fact, “The Notorious One” landed more punches on Mayweather in 10 rounds than future Hall Of Famer Manny Pacquiao was able to do in 12.

On a recent edition of ESPN’s First Take, Kellerman praised McGregor for his performance against Mayweather and claimed that the way the fight played out was the best version of anything that could’ve happened (quotes via MMA Fighting):

“That was the best version of what that fight could have possibly been and I want to start out by saying, Conor McGregor deserves enormous credit,” said Kellerman. “He is an exceptional fighter. An exceptional fighter. Even among champions, he stands out. And what stood out to me for Conor the boxer – first of all, he’s making his pro debut against one of the best fighters ever and he’s early on doing enough to stay in the fight. That’s amazing. Even the fact that he went 10 rounds in his pro debut is amazing.”

Photo by Joe Camporeale for USA TODAY Sports

While he did praise “Mystic Mac” for his performance, he also belittled it at the same time by claiming Mayweather’s age played a factor in what happened and stated that “Money” is walking away at the perfect time:

“What we saw was Conor McGregor’s exceptional quality as a fighter on the one hand and Floyd Mayweather’s age secondarily. I don’t want to take any credit away from Conor, so I’m going to focus on that – but also Floyd at the age of 40 has to stop fighting.

“There are a lot of young fighters, several at least, who would have knocked Floyd out on Saturday night. I know he wouldn’t have fought them the exact same way but that Floyd doesn’t go the distance with Terence Crawford, may not with Errol Spence. There are a bunch of young guys who would have beaten him up that night. That’s enough, he’s retiring at the perfect time.”

Kellerman then touched on his comments in which he stated that McGregor wouldn’t land a single punch, which he admitted was wrong to say:

“I was wrong to say Conor wouldn’t land a punch – he landed several actual punches cleanly. He won a few rounds early when Floyd hadn’t started fighting yet, which is amazing to me. But ultimately he didn’t really have a chance to win the fight and Floyd won in the way he did partly because he is an older, flat-footed fighter now.”

Mark J. Rebilas for USA TODAY Sports
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Has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) for the past several years. Also covers professional wrestling for WrestleZone and EWrestlingNews, and the Houston Texans for USA Today's Texans Wire.