While some fans cheered Floyd Mayweather’s technical knockout victory over Conor McGregor, some people thought it was finished a little too soon. McGregor himself took the mic after the loss, telling everyone he was just tired from the long fight and wished that the referee let him get laid out. One person in particular, praised ref Robert Byrd’s actions. Darragh O’Carroll, former ringside physician, thinks Byrd made a great call because he thinks Conor McGregor was at risk of brain trauma.
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) August 27, 2017
“[Robert] Byrd’s calculation to call a stoppage was likely not based on signs of fatigue, but rather signs of traumatic brain injury. Ataxia, or dizziness and loss of balance, is one of the hallmarks of concussion, a type of mild traumatic brain injury. Fatigue may cause sluggish and slow movements, but does not cause the imbalance and poor coordination exhibited by McGregor in the 10th round. Being wobbly, in the setting of pugilistic trauma, will always be treated as the result of head trauma and not as fatigue. To let a fighter continue on would be grossly negligent.” — Former ringside physician Darragh O’Carroll, MD, from his own article at TONIC.
Sometimes, fighters can be too tough for their own good. O’Carroll’s remarks also shed light on the damage that fighters sustain, not just in one fight, but throughout their entire careers. It’s especially grave if the same sort of wobbly behavior in Conor McGregor’s fight with Diaz wasn’t just exhaustion after all. Later on in O’Carroll’s article, he assured readers that his educated opinion wasn’t the least bit biased either, admitting he’s also a fan of McGregor.
“McGregor maintained, ‘it’s not damage, there’s always a patch in my fights where I go through this fatigue stage… but I wasn’t rocked.’ As an Irishman and self-admitted McGregor fan, I would like to believe him, but as a physician and former ringside doctor, I believe the fight was stopped for his own safety. Byrd did an excellent job by stopping the fight when he did, as I’m certain the ringside physician and all members of the Association of Ringside Physicians would agree.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 9/1/2017.