Conor McGregor may have lost his mega-fight with Floyd Mayweather by TKO in the tenth round on Saturday night, but he never hit the canvas and afterwards he insisted that it was fatigue rather than ‘Money’s’ firepower that had got the better of him in his boxing debut.
McGregor had started the fight strongly and many pundits had him winning the first three rounds, but his volume of punches soon took it’s toll, and by the fourth the sting had already been taken out of his punches and his work rate was declining.
By the ninth and tenth round McGregor looked on the point of exhaustion and Mayweather was only too happy to capitalize, upping his own intensity and landing some hard shots that would ultimately convince the referee that the fight should be waved off.
It wasn’t the first time in his career that cardio concerns have been a cause for concern, with McGregor also having punched himself out in his first fight with Nate Diaz last year, and indeed speaking after Saturday night’s event, ‘The Notorious’ also suggested it had been something he’d had to battle against in their eventual rematch too.
“I think fatigue, it’s like a patch, there’s a patch somewhere in the middle,” McGregor said. “I’m thinking about the Diaz 2 fight, I have this patch where I must overcome, I get a little wobbly. But it’s more fatigue.”
McGregor also suggested it was more of a mental problem rather than a physical one, and he believes that if the fight had been allowed to continue then he would have bounced back in the remaining two rounds.
“Fatigue got me,” McGregor told ariel Helwani. “I don’t know what it is. Cause it’s certainly not from not working hard enough, cause I fucking work hard, Ariel. I don’t care. Like, I work my ass off. I think it’s just a mental thing that I need to figure out. But I’m proud of myself, but I would have liked to see round 11. I think I, if I would have heard that bell at the end of round 10, I would have had that minute recovery, and I would have and I would have came out strong. It’s a see-saw game. If I’m dealing with my energy, and he’s working, and I’m recovering, and eating shots and so on and so forth, then when he goes back to the corner, and I’m still there, now it’s his turn. He must recover. You know what I mean?”
McGregor also pointed to the fact that a similarly depleting dip in his energy levels occured during his sparring sessions for the Mayweather fight, including his now infamous battles with Paulie Malignaggi, but he pointed to the fact that he’d come back strongly in the 11th and 12th rounds against the former two-weight world champion as further evidence that he could have made it to the final bell if the referee hadn’t stepped in.
Nevertheless, in hindsight it seems that McGregor has learned lessons from the defeat and though he wasn’t bowled over by ‘Money’ Mayweather’s skills or firepower, he’s taken notes on how the future boxing hall-of-famer conducted himself in the ring.
“He’s not that fast, he’s not that powerful, but boy, is he composed,” McGregor remarked.