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Floyd Mayweather discusses strategy of ‘eventually’ breaking Conor McGregor down


LAS VEGAS — Floyd Mayweather said he had a discussion with his father, Floyd Sr., before coming out to face Conor McGregor on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena. The legendary father-son tandem talked strategy for the impending bout, Mayweather said. And they were on the same page.

Mayweather said he planned on letting McGregor let loose with heavy shots early, weather the storm and then, as McGregor tired, he would go heavy at the body to further attempt to wilt the Irishman.

“We talked about it in the back, we said the game plan was let him shoot his load, let him shoot all the hard shots, he’s gonna try to kill me, he’s gonna keep switching, keep switching,” Mayweather said Saturday night at the post-fight press conference. “We’ll take our time, shoot hard shots to the body, eventually break him down. We get him around the sixth or the seventh. He lasted a little longer than we expected, but I stuck to the game plan.”

Mayweather ended up defeating McGregor by TKO in the 10th round. And the bout went almost exactly like he planned. McGregor won the first three rounds in the eyes of many, including one judge. Mayweather did not mount much offense in the first nine minutes of action, preferring to let McGregor do all the work.

By the fourth round, McGregor was starting to fade and Mayweather had taken over. McGregor had a 51-40 advantage in punches landed through five rounds. After that, Mayweather outlanded the UFC fighter, 130-60. McGregor had moments in the eighth, but Mayweather won every round after the third on the scorecard of every judge.

The plan had been executed to a tee. And then Mayweather went in for the kill in the 10th as McGregor gassed out.

“Everybody knows in this room, that’s watched me fight, I could have easily outboxed Conor McGregor, counterpunched him all night,” Mayweather said. “That’s not what I wanted to do. I wanted to go out with a bang. I told you guys I would come straight ahead. I feel like I owed that to the fans for the Pacquiao fight. Even though I don’t owe anybody nothing, I put the pressure on myself and did it myself. And that was a goal of mine.”

Mayweather, 40, went 50-0 with the victory and said this will be his last fight. “Money” said he warned McGregor during the build up. It’s one thing to be able to give hard shots — and McGregor has a killer left hand — but it’s just as important in boxing to be able to weather your opponent’s offense.

“You can give it,” Mayweather said. “But I’ve been hit with some of the best punchers in the world throughout my career. Ninety percent of the time, I’m dishing it out. I told Conor McGregor, it’s exactly what I told him. You can dish it out, but you have to be able to take it.”

McGregor lauded Mayweather for changing his tactics three times throughout the fight, saying that it what great champions do. But McGregor wanted referee Robert Byrd to let the fight continue in the 10th, even though Mayweather was battering him against the ropes. McGregor was clearly exhausted, diminished and having trouble defending himself. Mayweather said he felt it was a very fair stoppage.

“The referee saved you, because the referee is thinking about your future,” Mayweather said. “You’re still young and we want you to be able to fight again some day. The referee is saving you, he’s not saving me. That’s what I’m saying.”

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