Not many were giving Conor McGregor a chance heading into Saturday night’s clash against Floyd Mayweather Jr, and you can bet there will be plenty of, ‘I told you so!’ remarks from those same fans.
They have every right to do that, as the Notorious failed to live up to his promise that he’ll knock Mayweather out in the opening four rounds – although, he quite confidently switched that prediction to two rounds.
Instead, the Irishman took the opening three rounds rather convincingly, before Mayweather turned it up a notch in his usual slow-building fashion and took advantage of the gassed McGregor to pick up a stoppage win in the 10th round.
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While some have remained heavily critical of McGregor, his chances and his performance on the night, others were pleasantly surprised at how he fared in the first-half of the fight before his fatigue got the better of him.
Granted, his punches didn’t seem to affect the unbeaten American but stats show that he proved his doubters wrong who claimed that he wouldn’t land any shots on Mayweather because of his superior defence.
According to MMA Fighting, McGregor landed a total of 111 punches against Mayweather inside of the T-Mobile Arena, just six less than Saul Alvarez who also suffered a one-sided loss to Mayweather.
However, it’s the comparison to Manny Pacquiao which has left fans surprised, as Pac Man only landed 81 punches in total when he faced off against Mayweather in their highly anticipated contest.
While Mayweather admitted that McGregor took him by surprise, the fact that he kept coming forward – as opposed to his negative tactics against Pacquiao in 2015 – is perhaps why he absorbed more shots.
Following the win, Mayweather said: “I told you guys I’ll come straight ahead.
“So, you know, with coming straight ahead I was going to take some contact. I could’ve sat back and just boxed, and counter punched and made it boring.
“I didn’t want to do that, I think I owed the fans a last hurrah so I went out there and that was the game plan.”
McGregor jokingly claimed that he turned Mayweather into a Mexican, suggesting that he finally made him come forward and fight, rather than him sticking to his usual tactics on the back foot.
He’s had to endure plenty of criticism, and will continue to do so after this loss.
However, the fact that he was still able to land close to the number of punches Canelo was able to land, it proves that it wasn’t all bad for the UFC lightweight champion, especially since it was his professional boxing debut.
What do you make of the punching stats for Conor McGregor in his loss against Floyd Mayweather? Have YOUR say in the comments section below.