We’re now one month out from the massively successful Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor boxing superfight, and while Floyd continues to speak fondly of the dancing partner that helped him put another nine figure payday in the bank, he’s also starting to claim he went easy on McGregor.
Immediately after the fight he revealed his plan was to let McGregor take over for the early rounds of their fight and tire himself out. Later he claimed that he barely trained at all for the match and still beat Conor handily. And now he’s saying he would have beaten McGregor down harder but didn’t out of concern for the Irish UFC fighter’s brain.
“He has a career,” Floyd said on the Hollywood Unlocked podcast. “You know, he still has a career. He’s still young. [It could’ve been] very damaging. We have to think about these fighters.”
“Even, like, my uncle Roger,” he continued. “Right now, I just got a call just before I came here. He keeps walking off, wandering off. No one can find him. He ends up in a hospital. So, brain damage … it happens. It happens.”
That was a big concern for many of the more educated boxing fans going into this fight: that McGregor would tire in the later rounds and be unable to defend himself against a cardio machine like Mayweather. That’s when boxers get beaten up badly, and while McGregor may not have been willing to let himself go down he could have absorbed a dangerous amount of damage.
But if anyone saved McGregor, it was referee Robert Byrd. Byrd stepped in during the 10th round as a clearly gassed Conor found himself pushed up against the ropes eating over a dozen unanswered blows from Mayweather, who didn’t seem to be holding back at all. While McGregor complained afterwards that the bout had been stopped prematurely, it’s doubtful he would have been able to recover with Floyd in his face throwing endless combinations.