Sports

Mayweather's done with boxing

Unbeaten boxer to focus on being a trainer after victory over McGregor

Floyd Mayweather did exactly what was expected of him when he outclassed mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor in their crossover bout yesterday morning (Singapore time) to secure a final victory in an illustrious career that ends with an unbeaten 50-0 record.

The 10th-round technical knockout not only enabled Mayweather to depart boxing on a winning note, but also allowed the American to pull clear of heavyweight legend Rocky Marciano's 49-0 mark for most wins without a loss or draw.

The 40-year-old was lured out of a near two-year retirement for the fight and a shot at the record with what could amount to a US$200 million (S$271m) payday, but Mayweather was adamant that no amount of money would tempt him back into the ring once more.

"Rocky Marciano is a legend and I look forward to going into the Hall of Fame one day," Mayweather said.

"This was my last fight tonight. For sure. I didn't have to come back.

"We do foolish things sometimes, but I am not a damn fool.

"If I see an opportunity to make US$300m in 36 minutes, why not? I had to do (it).

"But this is the last one, you have my word on it.

"Tonight, I chose the right dance partner to dance with. Conor, you are a hell of a champion."

Former welterweight boxing champion Mayweather took his time to get going before dominating from the fourth round.

The end came with a tired McGregor doubled over on the ropes as Mayweather landed two hard left hooks, prompting referee Robert Byrd to intervene and declare a technical knockout.

"He's a lot better than I thought he'd be," Mayweather said.

"He's a tough competitor, but I was the better man tonight."

Mayweather said he had deliberately taken his time early on in order to take advantage of a fatigued McGregor.

"Our game plan was to take our time, go to him, let him shoot his shots early and then take him out down the stretch," he said.

"I guaranteed to everybody that this wouldn't go the distance."

McGregor, meanwhile, suggested the fight could have been allowed to go on, but praised Mayweather's clinical tactical display.

"He's composed, he's not that fast, he's not that powerful, but boy, is he composed in there," the Irishman said.

"I thought it was a bit of an early stoppage. I was just a little fatigued. He was just a lot more composed with his shots.

"I have to give it to him, that's what 50 pro fights will do for you."

Victory over the 29-year-old McGregor was the culmination of a 21-year journey that took Mayweather from the grit and grime of Grand Rapids, Michigan, to the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas, and from childhood poverty to a billionaire lifestyle.

If the pay-per-view projections are accurate and yesterday morning's fight becomes the most lucrative of all time, Mayweather will pocket US$200m to put him among the world's highest-paid athletes like Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan.

"I come from poverty, I come from the inner city," explained Mayweather.

"Now when I get with my billionaire buddies, I don't get with them and say, 'I am happy to hang in your house' or 'I'm happy to ride in your jet'.

"I say, 'Teach me how you did it so I can have the same thing'."

Now the student is ready to become the teacher with Mayweather saying the next chapter of his life will be as a trainer, like the father who taught him.

Along with his real estate investments and Las Vegas gentlemen's clubs, he will spend time focusing on his boxing business and uncovering the next Floyd Mayweather to groom for superstardom.

"I just want to help young fighters," he added. "My dad is a trainer, he taught me the sport. Everything he taught me from day one is still with me.

"Trainers help make fighters better and teach fighters about becoming a superstar, not just in the ring but outside.

"Hopefully, I can find the next Floyd Mayweather." - WIRE SERVICES

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