People who know their boxing didn’t give Conor McGregor a hope in hell's chance against Floyd Mayweather.
The Irishman convinced others that he had a genuine chance of beating the boxing legend back on August 26 thanks to his charismatic trash-talk and UFC superstar status. Reports that he’d enjoyed success against Paulie Malignaggi in sparring also brought his odds to beat Mayweather down to 4/1 before the bout.
But the purists knew that Mayweather, barring one of the biggest upsets of all time, had a reasonably comfortable night’s work in front of him - even though he was now 40 and hadn’t fought competitively since defeating Andre Berto two years earlier.
Mayweather, victorious in all 49 of his fights before going head-to-head against McGregor, was taking on a guy who’d never boxed professionally before.
There was only ever going to be one outcome, boxers (active and retired) and boxing pundits argued - and McGregor was unable to prove them wrong.
McGregor landed more shots on Mayweather than Pacquiao
The Irishman did, however, manage to give a good account of himself inside the ring.
And one of the most impressive stats that did the rounds on social media shortly after his defeat revealed that he’d landed more punches on the undefeated American than Manny Pacquiao.
Per the Independent, McGregor landed 111 of the 430 punches he threw at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas - giving him a percentage of 26.
Pacquiao, on the other hand, landed just 81 of the 429 shots (19 per cent) he threw at the same opponent back in May 2015.
Mayweather: Why McGregor landed more punches on me
Well, Mayweather was asked about the stat in an interview over the weekend - uploaded to YouTube by FightHype.com - and he explained why he thinks McGregor has more success against him than Pacquiao in this department.
“That's because I wasn't counter-punching and boxing,” Mayweather responded when asked about McGregor outlanding Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto, and Shane Mosley, per MMA Fighting.com. “The reason why he probably landed a higher percentage or landed more shots than those guys was because I was coming straight ahead, I was barely moving, knocking his shots down a little bit and just breaking him down.
“That was the game plan, let him shoot everything. I know he was gonna shoot shots from awkward positions but the game plan was to dig into the body with good shots, hit him with left hooks, hit him with straight right hands and keep walking towards him, keep pressing him and pushing him back.
“I could have just stayed on the outside, out-boxed him and counter-punched him, and probably still stop him down the stretch but that’s not what I wanted to do. I wanted to press and push him.”
So, basically, Mayweather could have prevented McGregor landing as many shots on him if he really wanted to.
It seems he wasn’t overly concerned by the power in McGregor’s shots.
Mayweather: It's not how you start, it's how you finish
Asked to name the point at which he figured out McGregor’s game plan, Mayweather added: “My thing is this, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. He can come out fast hands, use his range, using different angles, and after the first four or five rounds, he wasn’t the same fighter anymore…
"I told you guys I was going to go straight ahead and I know going straight ahead I was gonna take some contact, I was gonna get hit with some shots, but I wanted to give the fans and everybody around the world an exciting fight and I feel that’s what we did.”
Video: Mayweather's interview
You can watch Mayweather’s interview here…