‘You have to give the people a show!’: Floyd Mayweather claims he didn’t knock out Conor McGregor early in 2017 superfight to ensure they could have a money-spinning rematch
- Undefeated Floyd Mayweather beat Conor McGregor by TKO in August 2017
- The boxer came out of retirement to beat the UFC star in a money-spinning bout
- Mayweather says he could have ended the fight whenever he pleased that night
- He insists he didn’t so that there could be a possibility of a future rematch
McGregor in his first pro-boxing match started off the fight brightly, winning a couple of the early rounds before he started to fatigue badly.
Floyd Mayweather had hopes for a future rematch with UFC superstar Conor McGregor
He was then picked apart by Mayweather who won via tenth round TKO, barely breaking a sweat in the process.
Mayweather says he decided to keep the match competitive however, so that there could potentially be a lucrative rematch.
He told Drink Champs: ‘I took it serious, but I wanted to have some fun in the fight and I wanted to entertain the people.
‘You have to give the people a show, so I gave the people a show.
‘If I wanted to go out there and f*** him up and blaze him right out the gate, I could’ve did that. But my thing is this, if I would’ve did that, then it wouldn’t be probably a part two.’
Mayweather’s guaranteed paycheck from the 2017 fight was $100m while McGregor’s was $30m. However, the purse for the two fighters was expected to be substantially higher for each, with Mayweather reportedly earning $280 million from the fight and McGregor earning $130 million.
Following the fight Mayweather announced his retirement, before later returning to beat kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in an exhibition bout.
Mayweather says he took it easy on McGregor so that there could potentially be a rematch
In 2019, Mayweather posted on his social media that he was ‘coming out of retirement in 2020’ to work with UFC boss Dana White.
This didn’t happen but he is set to compete at an MMA event at the Tokyo Dome called Mega 2021. However, it is not known in what capacity he would be fighting whether it is boxing or MMA.
After the fight with Mayweather, McGregor returned to the octagon where he notably lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in October 2018.
Since then he has beat Donald Cerrone and is set to fight Dustin Poirier next month, in a rematch of their 2014 clash which McGregor won.