Punching by numbers - what the Mayweather-McGregor fight stats reveal
In the lead-up to the fight, many spectators had predicted – and even wagered – that McGregor would not land a punch on the quicksilver veteran Mayweather.
However, the reality was much different, as McGregor shocked almost all with his success in the initial rounds.
McGregor landed more punches than Mayweather through rounds 1-3, landing 26 to Mayweather’s paltry 12, although at a lower success rate, and through the first five rounds, McGregor had a 51-40 advantage in total punches landed, according to boxing statistics tracker CompuBox.
The very fact the current UFC lightweight champion succeeded in laying a glove on Mayweather busted the beliefs of those who doubted his boxing ability.
Despite the moral victory, that was where McGregor’s success ended. After the third round, Mayweather overtook the Irishman in punch statistics, out-landing him in every round on his way to scoring a technical knockout in the 10th.
The initial stages of Saturday’s fight saw McGregor have reasonable success, scoring with counter uppercuts and his spear-like left hand to lay claim to winning some early rounds.
As the fight progressed, Mayweather adopted a high guard and advanced on a visibly spent McGregor, splaying his defense with straight rights and brutal left hooks, eventually forcing referee Robert Byrd to step in and call a halt to proceedings at 1 minute 5 seconds of round number 10 to save a weary McGregor from further punishment.
Each of the ringside judges at the T-Mobile Arena scored the fight up to that point for Mayweather, penciling totals of 87-83, 89-82, 89-81 through nine rounds until referee the TKO, which Mayweather achieved while throwing fewer punches than his opponent.
After giving away much of the first half of the fight, Mayweather compensated in emphatic fashion, almost double McGregor’s success to outland him 130-60 in Rounds 6-10.
Mayweather’s total punch accuracy was higher than McGregor’s in each round, besting the debutant for connected power punches at 71 percent to 44 percent, jabs 31 percent to 28 percent, and landing an extremely economical total 170 from 320 thrown to record a stunning 53 percent accuracy, more than double McGregor’s 26 percent.
In the end, McGregor’s sheer volume could not find a way past Mayweather’s devastating precision and the Dubliner’s hellacious output eventually contributed to his own demise.
However, there were bright points for McGregor in the fight; his total of 110 punches landed did exceed the 81 landed by legendary Filipino Manny Pacquiao during his 12-round points loss to Floyd in 2015.
All the more impressive is the fact McGregor achieved that number in two fewer rounds, although it must be said that Pacquiao did avoid being knocked out by the mercurial ‘Money’ Mayweather, unlike Conor.
McGregor’s total successful punches was just six fewer than the 117 middleweight monster Saul ’Canelo’ Alvarez racked up in his 2013 majority decision loss to Floyd.
The fight’s punch statistics also go some way to explaining McGregor’s exhaustion late on, despite being one of the world’s most recognizable athletes.
His fatigue can be best attributed to Mayweather’s granite chin and defensive genius, which caused him to land 84 of 332 power punches and expend valuable energy with minimal damage caused.
After the fight, Mayweather admitted that he and his father-trainer, Floyd Mayweather Sr., had devised a precise game plan that would see Mayweather soak up early pressure before finding his opportunity to pounce when McGregor began to wilt late on.
"We had a game plan. Our game plan was to take our time, let him shoot his heavy shots. Keep walking him down keep walking him down. Shoot heavy shots to the body, shoot big shots upstairs,” Mayweather Jr. explained in the post-fight press conference.
Although the ever-contrary McGregor said at the same media gathering that he was simply “fatigued” and would have fought through the weary “patch” just as he had done in his second fight with Nate Diaz in the UFC octagon.
Mayweather advanced to 50-0, beating the record of heavyweight great Rocky Marciano, and admitted the fight would be his last. McGregor meanwhile slumped to a debut defeat. Both arguably now have nothing left to prove in the ring.