We’re almost able to count down the time to Mayweather vs McGregor in minutes now, with not long left at all until one of the most eagerly anticipated boxing matches ever.
Tonight’s fight looks sure to smash all existing pay-per-view records – and after months of trash-talking, a world tour, and Friday night’s weigh-in, fight night is finally here.
Saturday night will see out-of-retirement best boxer of his generation Floyd Mayweather facing the UFC’s biggest star, Conor McGregor, in Sin City.
The T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas will be packed to the rafters but millions more will be watching the fight via TV around the world.
After a long period of speculation about whether the fight would ever take place, the last few months have featured high levels of animosity on both sides, as the rivalry heats up ahead of fight night.
This will either be a boxing bout for the ages or a cross-code money-spinning abomination, depending on your point of view.
Whichever camp you’re in, here’s all you need to know about the fight between the man with a 49-0 boxing record facing and the Irish fighter who has never taken part in a professional boxing fight.
The fight is happening on Saturday 26 August. The main event was scheduled to begin at 4am BST, but with one undercard fight yet to conclude it’s safe to assume we won’t be seeing Mayweather and McGregor until about 4.45am.
Conor said he would attack and he’s true to his word. He gets in a few body blows but Mayweather absorbs them. He’s known for figuring his opponents out early and letting them attack. Irish “Oles!” ring around the arena. Floyd goes for a bigg-ish straight that Conor dodges – and the Irishman then stands with his arms behind his back. Excellent showboating. McGregor hasn’t looked out of his depth – but it’s still early. I have to give that round to the Irishman – he was more aggressive. He landed one good uppercut counter
Conor said he would KO his opponent early. Let’s see what he can do. He gets a little excited and aims some punches at the back of Mayweather’s head – the ref warns him. Mayweather then lands a right hand. But Conor switches stance to land a flurry of blows. Conor looks … can I say comfortable? His punches are a little crude but they are landing. Floyd has thrown very few punches so far.
McGregor throws another hammer punch at the back of Mayweather’s head and is warned again – fine in MMA, not so much in boxing. He needs to be careful or he’ll be penalised. Conor looks a lot bigger than his opponent and is leaning on Floyd, tiring him out. Floyd is smiling but Conor is working his jab well and catches Floyd with a few. A better round for Floyd but – and I’m shocked to say this – the Irishman has won all three rounds so far by my count.
Conor peppers Floyd with some body shots – one is a little south of the torso in the forbidden place and Floyd lets the ref know. On two minutes, Conor lands a big left but Mayweather counters and catches his opponent a few times. Floyd is coming forward more now and pushing the pace a little. Conor’s punches are starting to look more tired – they’re almost pushed. Conor still leads overall on my card though
Floyd is out of his corner first to start the fifth – not bad for a 40-year-old. Conor is proving an awkward opponent for Floyd – coming in at odd angles and using his weight advantage in clinches. If this goes deep and Conor is still ahead Floyd could be in trouble – he is not a knockout puncher these days by any means. A good left from Mayweather with 30 seconds left of the round.
Whatever happens now, Conor has won respect. Floyd turns his back on McGregor and he gets rocked. The veteran looks far less calm than the rookie. But Mayweather comes forward and catches McGregor with some good blows and the Irishman’s hands drop. Conor sticks his tongue out and chuckles – he’s having fun. $100m worth of fun. It’s even on my scorecard going into the seventh.
And we’re into the second half of the fight. Conor hasn’t KO’d his opponent like he said he would – but this is more impressive than a victory through a wild punch. Remember that MMA fights don’t last as long as 12-round boxing contests so endurance could tell. Then again, Floyd is 40…
Conor turns Floyd again – a lot of shoving from the Irishman and he looks tired. Floyd catches him with a few more – and Conor’s punches look a little slow and sluggish.
A lovely sidestep from Conor to avoid Mayweather’s blow – he looks light on his feet still but it’s his arms that appear tired: he’s just not hurting Floyd. That said, the Irishman gets a few blows in before Floyd counters. He ends the round an uppercut before Conor follows a right to the body with a head shot. Floyd’s round … just.
Floyd Mayweather wins by TKO!
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