Conor McGregor has claimed that the first shot he fired in his fight with Floyd Mayweather was “right on the button” and should have spurred him on to a shock knockout win. He was still “upset that I followed the rules completely”.
Former UFC lightweight champion McGregor admitted he was drinking whiskey as he looked back on the fight and was contemplating his first-round game when he came out in the first professional boxing match of his career.
Defensive specialist Mayweather smiled at McGregor and suffered no significant damage during the opening round, but his old opponent landed enough shots on goal to top all three judges’ cards after the first three minutes in Las Vegas.
Now, the turned boxer MMA star has described how he bonded “in the first second of the fight”, calling experts who questioned his boxing skills “bums” and telling his fans to “Don’t listen to any of them” before returning to the ring against Manny Pacquiao the next year.
“I didn’t even put anything into that shot,” he said, describing his letter of intent against the undefeated middleweight champion in August 2017.
“Just placed. Right on the button by the guard. Really, I should have just sat through that shot and took his head off and fucked the distance.
“If it didn’t work out, just put a good boot on the back of his neck and get disqualified and fined. And who would give af * ck?”
“I’m upset that I followed the rules for this fight in full, to be honest. Floyd deserved at least one volley. Just a shoulder, break your face.”
Fighting under boxing rules in an encounter considered intriguing by some and a farce by others, McGregor never again conquered the highlights of that promising start. He was visibly grueling as the fight continued before Mayweather finished his respectable challenge in the tenth round.
Addressing his nearly 37 million following on Instagram, McGregor admitted that he had tried to save his energy in anticipation of a tactical fight with one of the brightest fighters in boxing history.
“It was hard for me not to focus on the full 12 laps that might be ahead of me and withhold my shots early,” he said. “Still right on the absolute button.
“Remember the experts who said I wouldn’t even land one. I landed more than all of them.”
Mayweather was busier and more successful than McGregor during his comfortable win, but the man who switched disciplines landed more punches with greater accuracy than Pacquiao when he fought Mayweather two years earlier.
The highly seasoned champion Pacquiao was less successful than McGregor, despite having two more rounds to knock down Mayweather, but McGregor’s feelings toward his avowed next opponent are apparently less violent.
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He said that could change should there be more outbursts from Freddie Roach, the revered coach who is likely to be in Pacquiao’s corner for a fight that McGregor said would take place in the Middle East.
Roach surprisingly took to social media on Saturday to warn that Pacquiao would take McGregor off prematurely if they met.
“Manny not so much I don’t think so,” McGregor said after describing the brutal blows he wished he had inflicted on their mutual former opponent.
“But I’ll see how it goes and see what bitter old Freddie Roach has to say and then make a decision.
“I hope no bottling takes place here. I already agree to these limited rules and withhold my entire range of weapons. Let’s get it going, folks.”
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