Floyd Mayweather beat Conor McGregor with a 10th-round stoppage in a much-hyped fight that is expected to be the most lucrative in boxing history. Mayweather, 40, started cautiously as UFC lightweight champion McGregor, making his professional boxing debut, landed a first-round uppercut. But McGregor, 29, looked to tire before the referee called time on the Irishman in Las Vegas. It saw the former five-weight world champion extend his record to 50-0. At a packed-out T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, the former five-weight world champion faced flurries of early punches from UFC’s most iconic figure, who was making his debut in professional boxing. McGregor delivered a crisp uppercut in round one and, though he edged close to breaking rules with several punches to the back of the head, he imposed himself admirably without ever looking as though he would knock out Mayweather. The American, who came out of retirement for a potential $300m pay day, executed a gameplan which pounced on McGregor’s lack of conditioning for the late rounds which prove so key on big fight nights. As tiredness took hold, Mayweather upped his ferocity. By round nine he began to stalk McGregor as the Irishman swayed, his legs weakening as his rival fired – and landed – more. And in the 10th, again near the ropes and offering little, the fight – which followed weeks of manic build-up, spiteful words and chaos – was over. Referee Robert Byrd’s stoppage may have arrived too early for some, as McGregor’s early effort meant he was in the contest on the scorecards. But he was wilting and, though his effort and display should be commended, Mayweather’s poise and invincibility remains constant.
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