The long-awaited, much-anticipated fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor gave fans their money’s worth Saturday night with 10 rounds of engaging, entertaining boxing. Mayweather won the bout on a TKO when referee Robert Byrd stopped the fight in the 10th round. While McGregor wasn’t knocked down, he was exhausted and could barely raise his arms to defend himself, leaving him open to constant punches from Mayweather.
Most expected the undefeated, 15-time world boxing champion to easily dispatch the UFC lightweight champion. Mayweather had a clear advantage based on his experience, while McGregor wouldn’t be allowed to do most of the things that make him such a formidable MMA fighter. Yet McGregor put up more of fight than anyone expected, clearly the aggressor early on, but falling prey to Mayweather’s strategy to extend the match and tire his opponent out.
Following the fight, ESPN had commentators Stephen A. Smith and Teddy Atlas on the SportsCenter set live from Las Vegas to provide analysis. Viewers who may have looked forward to a longtime trainer like Atlas perhaps providing some insight into what McGregor did and didn’t do well, and how Mayweather’s skills and strategy ultimately led him to prevail, instead got strange analogies that eventually deteriorated into a shouting match between him and Stephen A.
OK, both Atlas and Stephen A. were pumped up after a big fight that exceeded expectations and reminded viewers why they love boxing. The adrenaline (and maybe some caffeine) was clearly pumping. Atlas was making his point that Mayweather was a gourmet chef in the ring to McGregor’s fast-order cook. (Maybe he watches a lot of food TV in addition to boxing. Hey, it’s a nice change-up from sports when you need a break.)
Stephen A. stayed with the comparison and countered, likening McGregor to fast food. But in yelling, he raised the energy of the conversation (and probably lowered the level of discourse). Suddenly, Atlas is going on about flipping cheeseburgers. (Presumably, that’s what McGregor got Mayweather to do? Maybe early in the fight? It was kind of hard to tell.) And then Atlas is so amped up that he’s screaming at Stephen A. and miming punches to emphasize his point.
Wow, that was intense. Hopefully, the two chilled out after SportsCenter went to break and enjoyed some cheeseburgers. Maybe there was some low blood sugar on that set.