Conor McGregor may have lost in his first foray into a boxing ring, but he can claim to have made a better impression against Floyd Mayweather Jr. than Manny Pacquiao did when he faced off with the unbeaten legend.
According to MMA Fighting's Mike Chiappetta, McGregor landed 111 punches on 430 attempts over 10-plus rounds, boasting a 26 percent strike rate. Pacquiao, in comparison, had 81 punches land on 429 attempts for a 19 percent strike rate in a unanimous-decision defeat in May 2015.
McGregor far exceeded the expectations of many fans, and Mayweather said after the fight he had underestimated the UFC lightweight champion, per UFC's official Twitter account:
While McGregor arguably put on a better show than Pacquiao, Pac-Man entered his bout with Mayweather carrying a shoulder injury that subsequently required surgery.
McGregor also encountered a 40-year-old Mayweather who hadn't fought competitively in nearly two years. When he crossed paths with Pacquiao, Money was still clearly one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world and coming off a convincing victory over Marcos Maidana.
Mayweather vs. McGregor is projected to be a massive commercial success, with ESPN.com's Dan Rafael reporting Mayweather will earn at least $100 million and McGregor will receive at least $30 million. Few, however, expected the event to provide as much excitement inside the ring, something for which both stars deserve credit.