One of the many things that were hyped up through the build-up of the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor fight was McGregor’s punching power. Credit does go to him for being able to knock his opponents out in the UFC alone, and he does hold one of the fastest knockout finishes in MMA.
McGregor did guarantee an early knockout win, especially after the Nevada Athletic Commission permitted the use of the smaller and lighter eight-ounce gloves. But the exact opposite happened on fight night, when Mayweather scored his first official stoppage win in six years.
After getting to feel it himself, Mayweather gave his own assessment of the touted punching power that McGregor holds.
“As far as his punching power – he’s solid. I’ve felt it before, so that’s why I kept coming straight ahead,” Mayweather said during the post-fight press conference (transcript via MMA Junkie). “Obviously, it wasn’t the type of power to say, ‘I can’t come forward.’ Because if it were that type of power, I wouldn’t have come forward.”
Mayweather also promised that he would be more aggressive against McGregor, veering away from his usual defensive and counterpunching approach. He did live up to his word, adding it was only a way for him to give the fans the fight that they paid $100 for.
“Give the fans what they want to see. I pushed him and taunted him,” Mayweather said. “‘You still ain’t knocked me out, yet. I thought you said it wasn’t going past the fourth. Show me your real power.’ That’s all.”
“Trash-talking that fighters do – whether it’s MMA or boxing. We talk trash, that’s what we do. When the best compete against the best, we want to be pushed, and that’s how boxing and MMA goes.”
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