Proving a predictable fight can still entertain and exceed expectations, Floyd Mayweather moved to 50-0 on Saturday with a dismissal of Conor McGregor at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Other than the historic hype, the fight panned out as a typical Mayweather affair, with his elusive ways gassing McGregor after a few surprising opening rounds and eventually causing the referee to waive the fight off.
The 10th-round technical knockout was scored at 87-83, 89-82, 89-81 for Mayweather before the stoppage, per MMAjunkie.
If McGregor seeming out on his feet didn't convince viewers this one got lopsided after the halfway mark, if not a little earlier, take a look at the fight metrics provided by CompuBox, via ESPN.com's Arash Markazi:
Major names and perhaps the most lucrative fight in history aside, the breakdown sure seems familiar: Mayweather feels out the competition, Mayweather adapts and whips the competition while being more accurate on fewer punches. Result? Early stoppage or a serious disparity on the scorecards.
Here we go again, right? McGregor outpaced Mayweather on power punches by more than half and only hit on a fourth of them compared to Mayweather's 58 percent. The only thing in major favor of McGregor in the numbers above were the first few rounds.
ESPN Stats & Info illustrated Mayweather's measured start:
Go figure—Mayweather takes his time figuring out McGregor while hoping the UFC star accustomed to shorter bouts gasses himself. Ever the showman, Mayweather's approach also stirs up the entertainment value for fans because it suggests there is a chance he leaves the building 49-1.
Those first few rounds were, funnily enough, the most entertaining thing involving Mayweather in years, unlike the similarly hyped disappointment that was the fight with Pacquiao in May 2015.
McGregor looked like a natural for a few rounds, always pushing forward and peppering the gloves in a more-is-better approach. Mayweather wasn't taking too many hits, as per the usual, but the quantity disparity was enough to skew the scorecards.
But it all seemed by design, which Mayweather confirmed after the match, according to Mike Bohn of Rolling Stone.
"Our game plan was to take our time, go to him, let him shoot his shots early and then take him out down the stretch," Mayweather said. "We know in MMA he fights for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, he started to slow down. I guaranteed to everybody that this wouldn't go the distance."
Round 6 and beyond was a snowball McGregor couldn't prevent from going downhill. Confidence and swagger while on the attack are one thing, but five rounds of whiffs and starting to catch counters in his first professional boxing match looking poised to go the distance had McGregor out of his comfort zone.
"He's composed, he's not that fast, he's not that powerful, but boy, is he composed in there," McGregor said, according to ESPN.com's Dan Rafael. "I thought it was close, though, and I thought it was a bit of an early stoppage. I was just a little fatigued. He was just a lot more composed with his shots. I have to give it to him, that's what 50 pro fights will do for you."
By the end, the stoppage seemed justified, even if McGregor would never admit it (why would he?). He wasn't defending himself before the referee stepped in and Mayweather was on an all-out assault path by that point, hunting for a knockout.
While the breakdown here could be copied and pasted to most of Mayweather's fights, the good news is McGregor fared better than Pacquiao and many others who have stepped in the ring with Money. Startup boxer or not, McGregor certainly has a viable career path here, should he choose to take it.
While Mayweather likely sits on the coveted 50-0 mark and calls it a career, McGregor's next move and the impact on this fight actually matching the hype will be an interesting bit of fallout to watch.
For once, something pegged as historic before it happened met the hype, so it's no wonder the general reaction to Mayweather-McGregor has been overwhelmingly positive.