Conor McGregor did better against Floyd Mayweather than any of his haters expected. That includes his sparring partner turned nemesis Paulie Malignaggi, who broke the fight down in a post-fight discussion with MMAFighting.
According to Malignaggi, McGregor was quite impressive in the first few rounds, but the ceaseless pressure applied by Mayweather –part of the undefeated great’s “mental pressure” – ultimately proved to be too much.
“I think [McGregor] started the fight very well, actually,” Malignaggi said. “It was tactical brilliance, almost. It was awkward, but it was effective in the early stages. Now having said that, the mental pressure Floyd was applying, Conor doesn’t have much experience in the ring so it’s going to fatigue him a little bit faster because he sees this guy constantly walking him down.”
“Even if Conor was being effective, the constant walking him down is going to cause fatigue physically, but also mentally. ‘I can’t get this guy out of my face.’ Conor’s used to hurting guys, he’s not hurting (Mayweather). And it got to the point where he was able to fire back less and less.”
Malignaggi also discussed the fight’s eventual stoppage, which McGregor briefly criticized post-fight.
“As far as the stoppage is concerned, we saw Conor say, ‘I would have liked to end up on my back, I didn’t even go down.’ Here’s the problem with that: You have to punch back,” Malignaggi explained. “He didn’t punch back for about over a minute in that final sequence. If you want to really fight, you’ve got to show the referee you want to fight. You can’t just say afterwards you wanted to fight. If you don’t throw a bunch back for a minute while you’re being assaulted, you gotta get stopped. You can’t put the referee in that kind of position.
“So as much as he wants to say he wanted to continue fighting, he had a chance to show that, but of course, it’s okay, the exhaustion, we understand that. Some body shots from Floyd Mayweather, again, the mental pressure I thought was effective and eventually it wore him down.”
What do you think of these comments from Floyd Mayweather?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 8/27/2017.