Mayweather vs. McGregor: Could There Be a Rematch?

After months of trash talk and rampant speculation, the dust has at last settled. After ten rounds, Floyd Mayweather earned his fiftieth career victory over Conor McGregor, putting him at a flawless 50-0. Many dismissed Conor as never having a chance, but it was the fight everyone had to watch due to that little glimmer of doubt that said “but what if he does?”

In the early rounds of the much anticipated fight it certainly looked like McGregor had a lot more than just a chance at a lucky win. For the first three rounds the action was pushed almost entirely by McGregor, with Mayweather scarcely throwing a punch as he attempted to lock down his opponent’s timing. We saw McGregor with surprisingly good reflexes for avoiding blows, and the ability to land counterpunches that brought the crowd to their feet. Fans watching quickly realized they may have been wrong, and we really did have a fight here.

Yet, at the end of the day, Mayweather winning his previous 49 fights didn’t come without great talent. As the fight got going deeper into the late rounds McGregor began to tire and Mayweather picked up the pace to land blows that sent Conor staggering. Having seen enough, the ref stopped the fight as McGregor clung to the ropes to keep his balance. But Conor still pushed Mayweather further than many would have thought possible.

So as Floyd celebrated in the ring and conducted a post-fight interview, the question that quickly came up was if Floyd could ever be drawn out of retirement to fight again.

Mayweather vs McGregor UFC Fight Pass

For his part, Mayweather seemed to have a clear answer, stating this was his last fight and that it wouldn’t matter how many hundreds of millions of dollars were offered in the future. Floyd expressed his respect to Conor’s ability and the two men embraced and put over each other’s ability. And yet, Conor seemed far more reluctant to say anything definitive against this being the end of his boxing days. In fact, he also expressed dissatisfaction with how the fight ended.

In the tenth round Floyd came alive with heavy punches that sent Conor stumbling into the ropes. However, Conor was never knocked down. And in the post-fight interview with McGregor, he explicitly stated that he was just fatigued but not beaten, and that he wished the ref had let the fight go longer. It was a TKO victory for Mayweather, but McGregor said if he was going to lose that he would have wanted it to be from hitting the mat.

When asked if he would consider a return to boxing, McGregor was also reluctant to commit to a statement, basically saying we’ll see what happens. You might think that’s just tough talk, but in MMA, McGregor has proven he’ll back up his words.

When McGregor stepped outside of his usual weight class to fight Nate Diaz the first time, many thought Conor was crazy—something that seemed confirmed when Conor was subsequently submitted. But Conor then came back for a rematch with Diaz, a fight which he won to the astonishment of many. So we doubt that McGregor would back down from the chance to box Mayweather once more and perhaps make his mark again.

Mayweather may have been far more definitive in his post-fight words, but who would have ever thought he’d come out of retirement for this fight? Mayweather vs McGregor sounded like nothing but a fantasy a year ago, but it became a hugely talked about reality. So who wouldn’t pay to see two of the biggest egos in combat sports go at it one more time? McGregor certainly sounded like he was leaving the door open for it. So before you say “no chance,” let’s see how Mayweather feels in the coming days now that he’s gotten another taste of the money, fame, and glory that he’s built his name on. It convinced Mayweather to come out of retirement once, so why not again for the biggest rematch of his career?

Julianna Margulies in The Hot Zone National Geographic
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