By Minnie Larry
T-Mobile Arena – Paradise, Nevada.
A little slower, but still brilliant. Floyd “Money” Mayweather (50-0, 27KOs) defeated UFC king, Connor McGregor- by a 10th round TKO to solidify his name as one of the best. He and he alone, can stake a claim on the Marciano record. Critics may say Mayweather fought fighters past their prime, but the same can be said of Marciano who fought an over the hill Joe Louis, and a semi-retired Archie Moore.
Money seemed to want to take it all in before he got started. Mayweather more or less ceded the early rounds to McGregor, allowing McGregor to switch stances and land awkward shots.
McGregor started off strong utilizing a jab to Mayweather’s head and body. Surprising his critics, McGregor came into the fight with a game plan of switching from southpaw to orthodox which kept Mayweather at bay- for the first three rounds.
In round 4, McGregor caught Mayweather with a counter-right that did little to affect TMT’s chief. Mayweather stated, “As far as his punching power – he’s solid, I’ve felt it before, so that’s why I kept coming straight ahead.”
In a made for TV show for all his detractors, Mayweather came straight forward landing several hard shots leaving McGregor’s head looking like a bobble-doll. By the end of the 4th, McGregor appeared gassed. He would then begin pushing Mayweather down with one hand and hitting him behind the head out of eye shot of referee Robert Byrd throughout the middle rounds.
In the 7th round, Mayweather landed a right hand that buckled McGregor’s knees. In the 9th round, McGregor landed his most meaningful punch; a low blow which sent Mayweather reeling but also probably signaled the end of McGregor. For the rest of the 9th round, Mayweather landed shots at will. In the 10th round, Mayweather landed a right which sent McGregor across the ring to the ropes. Mayweather would close the show with a combination which caused referee Robert Byrd to end the fight at 1:05.
Former super middleweight champion Badou Jack (21-1-2, 13 KOs) looked at home in his stoppage of light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly (30-4, 16 KOs) in round 5. Jack simply outpaced the confused Cleverly. He landed early and often, on the passive Cleverly.
In round 4, Jack landed a combination of lefts and rights which left Cleverly bloody and bruised. The 5th round was more of the same, with Jack landing a devastating combination which caused referee Tony Weeks to stop the bout at 2:47. Jack captured the WBA “regular” light heavyweight title. He would later call out WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson.
Gervonta Davis (19-0, 18 KOs), the heir apparent to Floyd Mayweather looked anything like it in his knock out of Francisco Fonesca (19-1-1, 13 KOs). Maybe it was losing his title on the scale, or the short time between fights, but the former IBF junior lightweight champion looked sluggish and disinterested. The fight was marred by the Davis constantly taunting Fonesca. He would finish Fonesca off in the 8th with an apparent illegal blow to the back of Fonesca’s head. Referee Russell Mora did not see the foul and counted Fonesca out.
Andrew Tabiti (15-0, 12 KOs) soundly beat former two-time world titleholder Steve Cunningham (29-9-1, 13 KOs) by unanimous decision. Tabiti from the start utilized his superior boxing skills to outclass Cunningham. Scores were 100-90, 97-93 and 97-93.