A few weeks ago, I gave several reasons why the overly-hyped boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor would be the ultimate sham. A complete waste of money for anyone who bought it.

I’m happy to say I was wrong. To a point.

I stuck to my guns by not watching the fight Saturday evening. I followed along via Twitter and, after the fight was over, watched replays of the fight via online streaming. Mayweather — the best defensive fighter of this generation, possibly ever — and holder of a 49-0 record, defeated McGregor by technical knock out in the 10th round in front of a packed house at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and millions watching around the world on Pay Per View.

Two facts struck me immediately. While not a natural boxer, McGregor did not look lost in the ring. He kept his composure well, right until the end of the fight. I dare say he even won some early rounds (though that was likely Mayweather feeling McGregor out). He did nothing to embarrass himself in front of the world.

As a matter of fact, the most telling stat of the night: McGregor landed more punches (111) than Manny Pacquiao did when he met Mayweather in 2015. Pacquiao landed 81.

Mayweather, historically a fighter that dances around and racks up points via lightning-quick jabs, went toe-to-toe with McGregor, and proceeded to drop some heavy bombs. Though it could be argued that McGregor could have continued after being rocked by a Mayweather punch in the 10th, he wouldn’t have lasted long. Mayweather went outside his normal fighting style — a show of his supreme confidence and to prove a point — and the strategy worked.

The fight didn’t change my mind on a couple of items. Mayweather would like you to believe that by riding off into the sunset with a perfect 50-0 record, he’s the greatest fighter of all time. He’s not. Many of his fights were against weak opponents, and I fully believe he avoided Pacquiao throughout his prime — waiting until 2015 when Pacquiao was far from his best years — before meeting him in the ring and picking up a sound victory. Had the two met years earlier — in a fight that would have almost been guaranteed to be one of the greatest fights ever — chances were good Mayweather would have lost.

McGregor — a true rock star in the world of mixed martial arts — impressed many with his acquired boxing skills, but this should be a one-and-done performance in a boxing ring. McGregor could show improvement over time before another fight, but he would likely still get flustered by superior fighters, and he has to gain the stamina to last over 10 rounds. McGregor himself admitted after the fight that he was fatigued going long into the fight.

Was it Ali vs. Frazier? No. Was it Ward vs. Gatti? No. But it was a solid fight, and more than just the spectacle people expected. Both fighters will be able to count their millions of dollars from this fight with pride. It was entertaining.

Now it’s over. Canelo Alvarez and Gennedy Golovkin are meeting in a couple weeks. Now THAT will be a fight.

Dave Dyer — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Dave_Dyer

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