McGregor Suffers Horrific Leg Injury In TKO Loss To Poirier

 

 

American brawler Dustin Poirier overpowered Conor McGregor on Saturday in Las Vegas, winning their lightweight UFC trilogy fight by a TKO after the Irishman appeared to snap his left leg in the waning moments of the opening round.

The fight was officially ruled as a “doctor’s stoppage” at the end of the first round after a bloodied McGregor swung and missed a punch then stumbled backward, his lower leg grotesquely buckling under him near the edge of the octagon.

Poirier then pounced on a helpless McGregor, raining down a series of punches and elbows until McGregor was saved by the bell in front of the capacity crowd at the T-Mobile Arena.

“This guy was saying he was going to murder me and kill me. I am going to leave here in a coffin,” said Poirier.

“Murder is something you don’t clown around with. You don’t talk to people like that. I hope this guy gets home safe to his beautiful family.”

Promoters said afterward that McGregor’s injury was to his lower tibia and that he was expected to undergo surgery on Sunday to repair the damage.

The scheduled five-round rubber match was expected to settle the score and complete the trilogy between the former two-weight UFC champ McGregor and his longtime rival Poirier, who now looks set to get a shot at an undisputed title and establish himself as one of the sport’s superstars.

There was plenty of bad blood between the two in the lead up to their third fight. McGregor insulted Poirier’s wife in a tweet and told Poirier he was going to leave the ring in the box.

Instead, McGregor had to be carted out on a stretcher after doctors stabilized his leg.

“He fractured it on one of the checks at the beginning, then broke it with the punch,” Poirier said. “I felt something. He was kicking me hard. It was probably cracked then on the twist and punch [it broke].”

Poirier said his payback was karma. “This guy is a dirtbag,” Poirier said. “Sometimes these things happen.”

In an expletive-laden interview inside the octagon as he waited for the stretcher to take him out, McGregor insisted he was winning the fight when the freak accident happened.

“I was boxing his bleeding head off. Kicking his bleeding leg off. This is not over,” said McGregor, who has had just one win in four and a half years.

In 2014, McGregor knocked out Poirier in under two minutes and Poirier returned the favour in January, demolishing McGregor with a second-round KO.

It was the first time a capacity crowd has attended a UFC fight in Nevada since the Covid-19 pandemic. With the United States lifting restrictions across the country, fans are returning to sporting events.

Trump booed

Saturday’s crowd included former US President Donald Trump, who was booed by a large contingent of the MMA crowd, while others chanted “U-S-A.”

The first round started with both fighters exchanging kicks and blows, with Poirier getting the better shots in, and it didn’t take long for McGregor to start bleeding from the mouth.

Poirier landed a vicious left hand, a few more long kicks and then they went to the ground for about two minutes of grappling. Poirier let McGregor get up and they both threw a punch at the same time but missed, and that’s when McGregor’s leg buckled.

“When I was walking away and he stayed down, I looked down at his shin and I saw the bone. It was disfigured a little bit. I said, ‘Oh man.'” Poirier said.

Promoter Dana White said he hoped there was a fourth Poirier-McGregor fight.

“You can’t have a fight finish that way,” White said.

Poirier had his own take on another fight.

“We are going to fight again whether it’s in the octagon or the sidewalk,” Poirier said.

AFP

Hurt And Heartbroken McGregor Ponders Future After Knockout Shock

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JANUARY 18: Conor McGregor prepares for his welterweight bout against Donald Cerrone during UFC246 at T-Mobile Arena on January 18, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Steve Marcus/Getty Images/AFP

 

Conor McGregor admitted he was “heartbroken” Sunday after a shock UFC knockout by underdog Dustin Poirier left the superstar’s future in the cage uncertain.

“It’s hard to take,” Irishman McGregor told a post-fight news conference.

“(It’s) the highest highs and the lowest lows in this game. I don’t know where I’m at, at the minute, to be honest,” said the biggest drawcard in mixed martial arts.

The 32-year-old McGregor had been an overwhelming favourite to register a winning return after a year away from the octagon.

But Poirier (27-6), who lost in 109 seconds to McGregor in their first fight in 2014, used a lower leg kicking strategy to negate his opponent’s stand-up style.

The American then launched a sustained barrage of blows to the head culminating in a straight right dropping McGregor to the floor moments before the fight was stopped at 2min 32sec of the second round.

“I have no excuse. It was a phenomenal performance from Dustin. It’s a bitter pill to swallow,” said McGregor, who hobbled onto to stage with help of a crutch and revealed his calf had blown up “like an American football.”

The unexpected defeat left many MMA fans wondering what will be next for McGregor, who will face questions about his future in the sport.

– McGregor mocked –

The loss will scupper any possible rematch with Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov, the unbeaten UFC lightweight champion who has now retired.

Nurmagomedov’s submission victory over McGregor in 2018 set an all-time record for UFC pay-per-view (PPV) with 2.4 million buys.

The Russian was quick to mock McGregor on social media after Sunday’s fight.

READ ALSO: McGregor Knocked Out By Poirier At UFC 257

“This is what happened, when you change your team, leave the sparring partners who made you a champion and sparring with little kids, far away from reality,” tweeted the Russian.

UFC boss Dana White said Sunday’s UFC 257 was tracking to be among the top three PPVs in history, with all featuring the wildly popular McGregor.

But the defeat may mean McGregor now explores other avenues, such as a money-spinning boxing match against the Philippines’ great Manny Pacquiao.

McGregor fought retired unbeaten boxing great Floyd Mayweather in 2017, earning an estimated $30 million dollars in a blockbuster crossover bout.

McGregor deflected questions about the possibility of a fight against eight-weight world champion, saying he was more concerned with healing his damaged leading right leg.

“I’ll regroup,” said McGregor. “I’ll pick myself up, get up off the floor and go again. I’ll keep my head high.”

Pacquiao had wished McGregor luck on social media ahead of and tweeted afterwards: “Beautiful thing about the fight game, anything can happen! Congrats to @DustinPoirier Huge win! #UFC257.”

There was still time though for one last flash of McGregor’s old brashness, before he limped away, when he was told of Nurmagomedov’s mocking social media posts.

“That’s the character of the man for sure, behind the mask,” McGregor snapped back.

“If he wants to have his disrespectful comments, come back and let’s go again.”

McGregor Knocked Out By Poirier At UFC 257

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JANUARY 18: Conor McGregor prepares for his welterweight bout against Donald Cerrone during UFC246 at T-Mobile Arena on January 18, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Steve Marcus/Getty Images/AFP

 

American underdog Dustin Poirier shook up the world of mixed martial arts Sunday, beating up the legs of Irish superstar Conor McGregor before knocking him out at UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi.

“I’m happy but I’m not surprised. I put in the work,” Poirier after the referee stepped in after 2min 32sec of the second round to save McGregor from further damage after he was dropped by a fierce combination of punches.

The 32-year-old Poirier was ranked second in the flyweight division going into the fight, but still rated a heavy underdog by bookmakers to beat his fourth-ranked opponent, arguably the most famous fighter the sport has seen.

The controversial McGregor, known as “Notorious”, was returning to the octagon for the first time in a year and hoping for a repeat of the pair’s first contest in 2014 which he won by TKO after just 109 seconds.

But Poirier, who now has a UFC record of 27-6, used low calf kicks in an effort to put McGregor (22-5) off his usual ferocious stand-up game -– and it worked.

“First off I want to say Conor took this result professionally. We’re 1-1 and maybe we’re going to have to do it again,” said Poirier, hinting at the prospect of a trilogy fight.

READ ALSO: Hurt And Heartbroken McGregor Ponders Future After Knockout Shock

“I’m happy with the place I am in. I’m happy with the face I see in the mirror.

“The goal was to be technical and to pick my shots, not brawl at all. I had him hurt and I went a little crazy.”

McGregor likes to call himself “Mystic Mac” and had spent the week leading into the fight predicting he would end it inside 60 seconds.

But it was a different Poirier to the one who had looked overmatched when the pair previously met at UFC 178 at the lighter featherweight.

– ‘I’m gutted’ –

Poirier worked the legs and took McGregor down into a grapple for much of the first round — avoiding a boxing face-off against a man who once shared the ring with Floyd Mayweather and had touted a future fight against Manny Pacquiao.

Poirier then found his range in the second, weakening McGregor’s base with more calf kicks before exploding for the shock finish.

He staggered McGregor with a big overhand left and then dropped him to the canvas with a straight right flush on the Irishman’s nose before referee Herb Dean waved it off.

“The low calf kick was very good but Dustin is some fighter,” said McGregor.

“I’ll dust it off and come back because that’s what I’ll do. I’ll take my licks.

“I’m gutted, it’s a tough one to swallow. I just want to go back to the hotel and chill with my kids and regroup.”

The second-ranked Poirier is now in prime position to either inherit or fight for the UFC’s lightweight belt, most recently held by the now-retired unbeaten Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov.

“I felt like this was the title fight. If Khabib’s not coming back then I’m the champion,” said Poirier.

The fight was held inside the new Etihad Arena on the “Fight Island” bio-secure sporting hub of Yas Island that the Abu Dhabi government established last July.

The three UFC events staged over the past week have been the first to allow fans to sit cageside, with around 2,000 in attendance for the main event.

Boxing Legend Pacquiao Wants To Fight NMA Star McGregor Next Year

Pacquiao, Roach At Loggerheads Over Reunion
File Photo of Manny Pacquiao/ AFP

 

Philippine boxing icon Manny Pacquiao wants to fight Irish mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor in the ring next year, an aide said in a statement Saturday.

“For the sake of all the Filipino Covid-19 victims, Senator Manny Pacquiao will be fighting UFC superstar Conor McGregor next year,” Pacquiao’s special assistant Jayke Joson said in a statement, adding negotiations are ongoing.

Pacquiao would donate a portion of his prize earnings to Filipino victims of the pandemic, Joson added.

AFP

UFC Legend Conor McGregor Announces Retirement From Fighting

 

Conor McGregor has announced his retirement from fighting at age 31.

The Irishman mixed martial artist took to social media to confirm his latest decision on Sunday.

McGregor had been tipped to fight UFC legend Anderson Silva in his next fight but his fans were stunned when the UFC star took to his official social media page to announce his retirement from fighting.

Posting a picture of himself and his mother, Conor McGregor thanked all his fans for the amazing memories created over the years.

The UFC star tweeted: “Hey guys I’ve decided to retire from fighting.

“Thank you all for the amazing memories! What a ride it’s been!

“Here is a picture of myself and my mother in Las Vegas post one of my World title wins!

“Pick the home of your dreams Mags I love you!

“Whatever you desire it’s yours ❤️”

READ ALSO: Bayern Close On Title As Bundesliga Steps Up Racism Protests

McGregor Charged With Assault, Due In New York Court

Conor McGregor. PHOTO: John GURZINSKI / AFP

 

Irish Mixed Martial Arts fighter Conor McGregor was charged with assault and criminal mischief by New York police on Friday and was due to appear in court.

The 29-year-old superstar reportedly surrendered at a Brooklyn police station late Thursday after allegedly attacking a shuttle bus loaded with fellow mixed martial arts fighters attending a New York media event at the Barclays Center stadium.

Video footage showed McGregor hurling a dolly through a side window of the bus as it moved slowly in a parking lot at the stadium in Brooklyn.

Police confirmed that McGregor had been charged with three counts of assault and one count of criminal mischief, and that Cian Cowley, 25, another MMA fighter, had been charged with one count of assault and one count of criminal mischief.

The two men were to appear before a criminal court in Brooklyn, New York, on Friday.

Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White said fighter Michael Chiesa, who was on the bus, was taken to hospital following the incident and was being treated for cuts to the face.

Police had issued a warrant for the arrest of McGregor, White added, accusing the Irish star and a group of around 20 men of “storming the building.”

“They got down to the loading docks where the fighters were getting on the buses and attacked them, throwing trash cans, dollies, things like that,” White said. “Broke one of the windows, cut Michael Chiesa real bad, cut his hand, cut his face.”

White called it “the most disgusting thing that has ever happened in the history of the company,” and said “everyone’s shaken up.”

White warned that McGregor, who reportedly pocketed around $100 million for his super fight against boxer Floyd Mayweather last August, would face likely legal action.

“As you can imagine he’s going to be sued beyond belief,” White said. “This was a real bad career move for him.”

It was not clear what triggered the alleged assault but it appeared to be linked in part to the UFC’s decision to strip McGregor of his world title.

McGregor reportedly turned up unannounced at the end of Thursday’s press event to publicize the upcoming UFC 223 card.

On Wednesday, White said the UFC would strip McGregor of his lightweight title, which would be awarded to the winner of Saturday’s UFC 223 fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Max Holloway in New York.

McGregor reacted angrily to the decision on social media. “You’s’ll strip me of nothing …” McGregor said.

AFP

Mayweather-McGregor Fight Second Richest Ever

Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. (L) and UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor. Photo: Ethan Miller / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor’s cross-combat super fight was the second richest boxing bout in history, long-awaited final figures revealed on Friday.

A statement from Showtime sports said the August fight between boxing star Mayweather and mixed martials arts king McGregor generated 4.3 million pay-per-view buys in North America.

Only one other fight — Mayweather’s 2015 bout with Manny Pacquiao — has ever drawn more, racking up 4.6 million buys to earn around $600 million.

The Mayweather-McGregor pay-per-view total is almost double the third biggest fight of all time, Oscar De La Hoya’s 2007 fight with Mayweather, which had 2.48 million buys.

Showtime said in a statement that global revenues, including ticket sales, sponsorship and international distribution, Mayweather and McGregor had exceeded $600 million.

“The pairing of Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor brought together two very significant and distinct global fan bases in one truly unprecedented event,” Showtime Sports chief Stephen Espinoza told ESPN.

“The remarkable results are all the more impressive considering that the planning, marketing and execution took place across a span of just 72 days from the initial announcement to fight night.”

The Mayweather-McGregor fight was widely dismissed as a circus before the bout, which was eventually won by Mayweather — returning from a two-year retirement — with a 10th round knockout.

Meanwhile Philippine boxing hero Pacquiao said last week he too was seeking his own showdown with McGregor, confirming he had opened talks with the Irishman to possibly fight in April.

AFP

PHOTOS: I’m Finished, Says Mayweather After McGregor Rout

Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. (R) punches mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor during their fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 26, 2017. Floyd Mayweather outclassed Conor McGregor with a 10th-round stoppage on August 26 to win their money-spinning superfight and clinch his 50th straight victory. John Gurzinski / AFP

Floyd Mayweather insisted he would head into a permanent retirement after sealing his place in boxing history with a 50th straight win against Conor McGregor on Saturday.

The 40-year-old American star outclassed McGregorover 10 absorbing rounds at the T-Mobile Arena to defeat Irish mixed martial arts star McGregor by technical knockout.

The win sees Mayweather, who had come out of a two-year retirement to face McGregor, surpass heavyweight legend Rocky Marciano with a perfect record of 50-0.

LAS VEGAS, NV – AUGUST 26: Floyd Mayweather Jr. speaks to the media after his TKO of Conor McGregor in their super welterweight boxing match on August 26, 2017 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP Ethan Miller / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

Afterwards former welterweight king Mayweather insisted he would never be seen in a ring again.

“This was my last fight tonight. For sure,” Mayweather said, praising his beaten opponent.

“Tonight was my last fight. Tonight I chose the right dance partner to dance with.

“Conor you are a hell of a champion.”

Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. (R) punches mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor during their fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 26, 2017. Floyd Mayweather outclassed Conor McGregor with a 10th-round stoppage on August 26 to win their money-spinning superfight and clinch his 50th straight victory. John Gurzinski / AFP

Mayweather also rejected suggestions that his 50th victory — against an opponent who had never boxed professionally before — would be destined to have an asterisk against it.

“A win is a win, no matter how you get it,” mayweather said. “Rocky Marciano is a legend and I look forward to going into the hall of fame one day.”

Mayweather meanwhile revealed the fight had followed a tactical plan as he took his time and allowed McGregor to become fatigued before pouncing in the later rounds.

Referee Referee Robert Byrd (R) separates boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. (L) and mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor during their fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 26, 2017. Floyd Mayweather outclassed Conor McGregor with a 10th-round stoppage on August 26 to win their money-spinning superfight and clinch his 50th straight victory. John Gurzinski / AFP

“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.”

AFP

Mayweather Stops Mcgregor In 10th Round

LAS VEGAS, NV – AUGUST 25: Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. (L) and UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor face off during their official weigh-in at T-Mobile Arena on August 25, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP
Ethan Miller / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

Floyd Mayweather has extended his perfect career record to 50 fights unbeaten after his victory over mixed martial arts champion Conor Mcgregor in the much anticipated crossover bout.

A ruthless Mayweather scored a 10th round technical knockout over Mcgregor cementing his legacy as one of boxing’s all-time greats.

As promised, McGregor came out full of fury and menace but Mayweather, long regarded as the finest defensive fighter to step into the ring, left few openings and used the first three rounds to feel out his opponent.

By the fourth round, Mayweather went on the attack and started landing blow after blow against a suddenly desperate McGregor who was bravely hanging on while clutching and grabbing the American but in the 10th round the referee had to step in to stop the fight.

Read Also: Moment Of Truth As Mayweather-McGregor Fight Looms

Mcgregor Vows Mayweather Knockout As Moment Of Truth Nears

Mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor vowed to knock out boxer Floyd Mayweather on Friday as a horde of Irish fans descended on Las Vegas for the trash-talking rivals’ cross-combat super-fight.

McGregor, 29, will carry a substantial weight advantage into Saturday’s 12-round boxing contest at the T-Mobile Arena after a raucous weigh-in that saw him face-off with Mayweather for the final time before fight-night.

With waves of green-shirted fans in a crowd of around 6,000 roaring their support for the Irish superstar, McGregor tipped the scales at 153 pounds, well inside the 154-pound limit.

Former welterweight champion Mayweather, 40, who has emerged from a two-year retirement to take on MMA star McGregor, weighed in at 149.5 pounds.

The naturally bigger McGregor who screamed into Mayweather’s face as the two men went nose-to-nose said he expects to enter the ring at closer to 170 pounds.

Saturday’s one-off bout is projected to be the richest fight in history, with Mayweather poised to earn as much as $200 million and McGregor potentially pocketing around $100 million.

McGregor, who has never fought in a professional boxing contest, is a massive underdog for a fight, which is expected to beamed live to around 200 countries and territories across the globe.

But the former apprentice plumber from Dublin, who was unemployed four years ago, defiantly predicted he was ready to spring a monumental upset on the skillful Mayweather, one of the finest boxers in history who boasts a perfect 49-0 record.

“That’s the worst shape I’ve ever seen him,” McGregor said of Mayweather. “I’m going to breeze through him, trust me on that.”

‘Fighting wins fights’

A nonplussed Mayweather shrugged off his weight disadvantage and once again vowed to stop McGregor inside the distance.

“Weight doesn’t win fights, fighting wins fights,” Mayweather said. “It won’t go the distance. Mark my words — I’m not worried about the scales.”

McGregor meanwhile basked in the adulation of his Irish fans who have poured into the Nevada desert gambling capital this week.

“You can’t beat us, we’ve already taken over,” McGregor bellowed. “Las Vegas is Ireland now.”

An army of Irish fans poured out onto the Las Vegas strip following the weigh-in, dancing and singing in blazing hot sunshine.

Saturday’s bout has appalled boxing traditionalists, who have rubbished the event as a meaningless, money-grabbing, mismatch which owes more to the pantomime traditions of WWE wrestling than the noble art.

Boxing pundits, coaches, and fighters have lined up to dismiss McGregor’s hopes of succeeding where 49 others in Mayweather’s 21-year career have failed.

“Would a ping-pong player have a chance of scoring a point against Roger Federer?” was the withering verdict of veteran trainer Teddy Atlas. “It’s going to be like walking through a really bad neighborhood late at night. McGregor’s going to get mugged.”

– Safety fears –

The hard-nosed heavy-hitters of the gambling world agree.

Saturday’s fight is set to smash records as the most bet-upon bout in Las Vegas history.

But while McGregor, a long-odds underdog, has attracted most wagers, the majority of the money is on Mayweather.

William Hill US reported that several large bets had been placed on Mayweather for what is expected to be a straightforward assignment.

One punter placed a $1.2 million cash bet on Mayweather, which will earn around $240,000.

Yet the mere fact that McGregor will carry at least a puncher’s chance into the contest has been enough to sustain the excitement.

Stephen Espinoza, the head of the cable network Showtime Sports which is selling the fight on pay-per-view in the US, said surveys had shown that fans were not deterred by predictions of a mismatch.

“The casual fans were absolutely adamant,” Espinoza said.

“Their response almost universally was ‘We don’t care if it’s a mismatch … if there’s a .01 chance that something incredible could happen, we need to watch it.’

“And that’s why they’re going to watch it.”

Others, however, have sounded a note of caution, citing potential safety risks to McGregor given the chasm of experience between the Irishman and Mayweather.

British former light-welterweight world champion Amir Khan expressed fears Friday McGregor could be seriously injured.

“It’s like a tennis player trying to play badminton,” Khan said.

“(McGregor) needs to think about himself in this fight, because if he gets seriously injured, he might not ever be the same fighter or he might not even fight again.”

AFP

Undefeated And Unloved, Mayweather Eyes Final Payday

Floyd Mayweather

Two years after retiring from boxing, Floyd Mayweather climbs back into the ring on Saturday chasing history and one last mammoth payday.

The 40-year-old former welterweight champion will become the first boxer in history to post a perfect record of 50-0, if as expected, he proves too strong for Conor McGregor, the mixed martial arts star fighting in his first ever boxing contest.

The 50th bout of Mayweather’s 21-year professional career has been disparaged variously as a freakshow, publicity stunt or simply “bad for boxing.”

Mayweather, who has spent years crafting an image as the fighter that fans love to hate, is not even remotely fazed by the catcalls.

Mayweather and McGregor

Because not for the first time, the boxer who delights in displaying the trappings of his wealth across social media, will be laughing all the way to the bank.

Mayweather, whose career earnings reportedly topped $700 million following his last bout in 2015, could, according to some estimates, pocket another $200 million this weekend.

Fight With McGregor Won’t Go Distance, Mayweather Says

It is the latest money-spinning stop on a career that has seen Mayweather go from 1996 Olympics bronze medallist to be regarded as one of the greatest boxers in history.

Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on February 4, 1977, Mayweather was destined for the ring.

His father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., was himself a talented former welterweight who once fought 10 rounds with Sugar Ray Leonard. Floyd Sr. taught his son to box almost as soon as he could walk.

Floyd Sr. was holding his infant son in his arms when he was shot in the leg during a family dispute, an injury that effectively ended his career.

“He was training to be a fighter in the crib,” Mayweather Sr. said of his son.

Mayweather, who grew up in a cramped apartment with seven relatives, frames his early life as a battle for survival.

‘Never been easy’ 

“It’s never been easy for me. Boxing is easy but life has never been easy,” Mayweather says.

“I had a father who was a hustler and a mother who was on drugs. I was the man in the house from 16. That’s just the way it was.”

When Mayweather fought at the 1996 Olympics, his father was serving a five-year prison sentence for drug-trafficking.

In Floyd Sr’s absence, his uncle Roger had taken over the training of the young fighter, overseeing his entry to the professional ranks.

Within two years, the skilful, lightning-fast Mayweather had won his first world title, knocking out the WBC superfeatherweight champion Genaro Hernandez in eight rounds.

Years of domination followed as Mayweather plowed through the divisions up to welterweight.

Read Also: McGregor Enters Final Stages Of Preparation For Mayweather Fight

In 2006, he took the unusual step of buying out his contract with promoter Bob Arum, in order to take greater control of his career.

Since then Mayweather has been able to dictate terms for most of his fights, taking a cut of the back-end profit in exchange for upfront risk.

It means that the dollars have continued to flow in ever-increasing numbers, from $25 million to fight Oscar De La Hoya in 2007 to around $220 million for his 2015 fight against Manny Pacquiao.

Mayweather
Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines covers his face as he is punched by Floyd Mayweather, Jr. of the U.S. in the first round during their welterweight WBO, WBC and WBA (Super) title fight in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 2, 2015. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

But while the dollars have rolled in and the bank balances have swollen, Mayweather has struggled to build up a reserve of public goodwill.

Multiple convictions for domestic violence point to the fighter’s dark side, while in boxing terms he has faced accusations that he ducked his most dangerous opponents, such as Pacquiao, until they were past their peak.

His cagey, cautious style inside the ring, while earning grudging approval from purists, has also frustrated fans hoping to see him take a more aggressive approach.

Mayweather, who insists Saturday’s bout with McGregor will be the last time he ever enters a ring, is unapologetic about the tactics that have guided his career, believing his is a template that many rivals would like to emulate.

“When a person has been so dominant in his era, I think other fighters are going to pay attention,” he told reporters recently.

“The main fighters are going to pay attention because they want to be at my level and they want to do the same thing — they want to dominate with ease.”

© AFP

Anthony Joshua Open To Fight With MMA Opponent

Anthony Joshua

World heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua has revealed he would be willing to take on a mixed martial arts fighter at some point in the future.

The relative merits of the two sports are up for debate as Ultimate Fighting Championship superstar Conor McGregor prepares to make his boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas on Saturday.

Read Also: Fight With McGregor Won’t Go Distance, Mayweather Says

McGregor’s total lack of boxing experience has proved a bone of contention for many in the build-up to the fight, but Joshua said he would enjoy taking on an MMA fighter, albeit with conditions.

“I like fighting. I’d do whatever,” the IBF and WBA heavyweight champion told Britain’s Press Association in comments published on Monday.

“I’d probably get beaten. The only thing that they can’t do is submissions, but they can kick, elbow, bite — whatever they want. Just no submissions.

“I can’t beat a guy (via submission). That takes a lot of time to learn the skills and submissions, which I don’t have the time for.

“But when it comes to pure aggression and fighting rules, I can definitely fight, so I don’t mind that.

“It wouldn’t be a problem. If you look at most boxers who’ve crossed over to MMA, they get beaten on the ground.

“James Toney, Roy Jones, they were phenomenal boxers, but they just couldn’t compete in the cage because of the ‘ground and pound’ game.”

Joshua, who will not be ringside on Saturday, believes Mayweather will “probably” win by a “landslide”.

Joshua, 27, is awaiting confirmation of his next title defence against Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev, which is expected to take place either in Las Vegas in November or in Cardiff in October.

Read Also: McGregor, Mayweather To Be Drug Tested ‘Robustly’ By USADA

AFP