Despite several rounds of dominance from Floyd Mayweather this past Saturday in Las Vegas, many viewers felt that his TKO win over Conor McGregor was awarded prematurely. Even McGregor said the fight was stopped too soon, claiming he was “just a little fatigued” and needed time to gather himself.
Showtime boxing analyst Al Bernstein disagrees.
“(Referee Robert Byrd stopped) it at the right time,” Bernstein said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “(Conor) hadn’t punched for over a minute.”
And in the end, he lost. McGregor fared well in the early rounds but faded as the fight wore on.
“Conor McGregor, we knew he was resilient from the sport he came from and he had been in many wars in the UFC,” Bernstein said. “He had been submitted three times but never knocked out, and so, we knew he was tough – and he did show his toughness. So it was correct (to stop the fight) for Robert Byrd, who, by the way, did a good job refereeing this fight.”
Bernstein was impressed by the 29-year-old UFC fighter. In fact, a lot of people were impressed by McGregor, who went toe-to-toe with arguably the best defensive boxer in the history of the sport.
“McGregor, it turns out, was a boxer-puncher with not a super lot of power but somebody who was very active – more active in terms of number of punches he threw – than he was ever in MMA per round and somebody who had enough ring technique to hang in there for nine-and-a-half rounds,” Bernstein said. “My feeling was that, yes, Floyd Mayweather was clearly trying to bide his time. But I’m sorry: I can’t ignore the fact that Conor McGregor was landing more punches against Mayweather than regular boxing opponents had. Part of it was Mayweather coming forward, part of it was Mayweather off a 23-month layoff, part of it was Mayweather at 40 years of age, and part of it was Mayweather understanding he wasn’t getting hurt. But he was, amazingly, willing to take a few more punches, which has never been the case with Floyd Mayweather. Just like everything else about this fight, even the way it was fought was a one-off, things that you wouldn’t think you would see.”