Only with reluctance dare I disagree with the likes of George Foreman, Mike Tyson, Shane Mosely, and Holly Holm about a boxing match. They know a lot more about the discipline than I do. But I have to agree with those others, like Oscar de la Hoya, who say that Floyd Mayweather carried Conor Mcgregor on August 26.
I don't think this was just Mayweather's practice of starting slow in order to read his opponent. There surely was that. But I think Floyd wanted to put on a show in his last fight. So he drew it out, let the ten rounds tell a story with its opening uncertainty, crescendo, and climax. Remember, he tried to place a bet on himself winning in the tenth round, and guess what?
Yeah, he got tagged by that uppercut. When I fight underbelts, I get tagged sometimes. I'm fighting at 25%, and while that's 25% offense, it's hard to stop complacency from setting in - just for a moment, just enough for something to get past my defense.
I was cynical about this match from the beginning. But I actually found Mayweather's performance instructive. He controlled the fight, and did so with a style that is not his favored style, coming forward, slowly, relentlessly - but not recklessly as so many of Conor's MMA opponents have stupidly done.
I think of the movie The Hustler, where Fast Eddy (Paul Newman) trounces Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason) at the beginning of their first battle, but the systematic patience of Fats eventually prevails. At the end of the movie, it's different of course. That's the narrative arc, and that's what Floyd painted for his audience on August 26.