By Alex McCarthy
Back in 2017, Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather shared one of the most lucrative fights ever.
It’s the second highest-bought pay-per-view in boxing history only behind Mayweather’s win over Manny Pacquiao. The intrigue lied in whether or not a double UFC champion with the punching power of McGregor could possibly trouble an all-time great.
Mayweather was aiming to move to 50-0, but at 40 years old, he knew his time in the sport was coming to an end.
Although the Irishman did well in the opening rounds, he quickly found himself struggling to keep up with the seasoned Mayweather physically and his gas tank began to empty.
Mayweather kept the pressure on McGregor and as the rounds wore on, McGregor had no power to throw back through sheer exhaustion.
In the tenth round, a barrage from Mayweather saw McGregor stumble back to the ropes and at that point, the referee decided to step in.
McGregor’s immediate reaction showed his belief in himself never waivers.
“That was early, referee. That was early. That was early,” McGregor told official Robert Byrd.
When McGregor and Mayweather finally met in the middle of the ring after the decision, McGregor told the victor: “I punched you a lot in the early rounds. Your composure is great though, fair play to you. A little early, a little early.”
He still couldn’t help but insist the decision came a little too early – fantastic stuff.
In his post-fight interview, Mayweather revealed what he had said to McGregor as well and the American had plenty of positive things to say about McGregor.
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Mayweather revealed what the pair said after the fight: “We talked about that he’s a tough competitor and I think we gave the fans what they wanted to see.
“I told him I owe them [the fans] for the Pacquiao fight, I must come straight ahead and give them a show and that’s what I gave him.
“He’s a lot better than I thought he was. He used different angles, he’s a tough competitor, but I was the better man tonight.”
Nearly five years later, Mayweather has been making a killing doing exhibition bouts against names like Logan Paul, Don Moore and Tenshin Nasukawa.
McGregor is on his way back from a broken leg sustained at UFC 264 last July. The Notorious plans to fight again and is targeting a return to the octagon.
Surprisingly this week though, Mayweather came out and stated that he intended to stage a rematch with McGregor in 2023.
For the time being, the Irishman has replied to say he is ‘not interested’, but time will tell if this will continue to be the case.