By: Sean Crose
“I wanted to go out with a bang.”
So said Floyd Mayweather during the post fight press conference after besting Conor McGregor in the tenth round of their much ballyhooed boxing match. “Number forty nine wasn’t good enough,” the 50-0 fighter claimed. “Number forty-eight wasn’t good enough.” Here was a man who wanted to leave the ring in memorable fashion. “I told you I was going for the knockout” he said to the gathered media.
Photo Credit: USA Today
Mayweather was gracious regarding McGregor. “He was a hell of a fighter standing up,” he said, admitting the Irishman “kind of shocked me.” Mayweather still brought up McGregor’s dirty tactics throughout the bout, however. He also brought up McGregor’s notorious (no pun intended) big mouth. “Talking doesn’t win fights,” he said. “Fighting wins fights.” Mayweather went on to point out that he felt McGregor was wrong for complaining that referee Robert Byrd stopped the fight too soon. “The referee is thinking about your future,” he said.
One startling part of the press conference was when Mayweather admitted that he hadn’t trained as he previously had. “For the last month,” he claimed, “I didn’t do any sparring.” McGregor may be known for his confidence, but such a statement made it clear that Mayweather’s confidence is absolutely sublime. “I could have easily outboxed Conor McGregor,” he said matter of factly. “I felt I owed that (the stoppage) to the fans for the Pacquiao fight.”
It was clear Mayweather felt right at home in front of the media, but after a while, McGregor showed up and Mayweather graciously stepped away from the mic.
“To the podium,” he said. “I’d like to call up the notorious one, Conor McGregor.” The two men then hugged as McGregor stepped up to the podium with whiskey. Being gracious in his own right, McGregor gave credit to his conqueror. “I didn’t anticipate three game changes in the fight,” he admitted. “Much respect.” The gathered media subsequently applauded approvingly. “You’ve got to give your hat off to Floyd,” he said. “It was a bit of fun, right?” McGregor went on to ponder the differences between boxing and mixed martial arts, the sport he is most known for. “I don’t know what the fuck the difference was,” he said good naturedly, “but it’s different.”
Truth be told, McGregor seemed to be in a good place. He spoke of “dips” in his fights, where he runs out of gas, but he didn’t seem like a man who was broken internally. If anything, the guy is a student of life. “It was a great contest,” he claimed. “And it’s a lot of stuff I’ll take with me.” No doubt the man was telling the truth. “This was some buzz,” McGregor said in reference to Mayweather, “to come in and face this man.”
The two men embraced once more and posed for pictures, effectively ending the entire months long affair on a high note.