Described as the fight the fans asked for by the executives who made it happen, Saturday’s clash between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor was only ever about one thing — money.
Having beaten the Irish fighter with a 10th-round technical knockout, Mayweather can retire with a perfect 50-0 record and a payday said to be worth up to 300 million dollars, and the American has promised never to return to the ring.
McGregor, however, is a different story.
His 30-million-dollar purse for the fight is 10 times his previous best disclosed purse from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where, as he says, he endures “shinbones to the head” as he makes his living.
In the altogether more genteel surroundings of the boxing ring, he made a lot more money with a lot less damage, and his appetite has surely been whetted by the enormous riches on offer.
McGregor has made no secret of his desire for more.
Former two division champion Paulie Malignaggi gave his take on the stoppage and McGregor's performance.
Malignaggi and McGregor were involved in a heated feud for the last few weeks, after a severe fallout from a sparring session - where Malignaggi was helping McGregor prepare for the Mayweather fight.
Malignaggi was ringside, as part of the broadcast team for Showtime at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
McGregor complained about the stoppage and felt referee Robert Byrd stepped in too early, but Malignaggi disagrees.
“I think [McGregor] started the fight very well, actually. 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," Malignaggi said.
“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. 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. 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.”