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Conor McGregor on TKO loss: ‘The ref could've just let it keep going’

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McGregor lost by TKO in the 10th round, but he feels the fight was stopped too early.

MMA star Conor McGregor stepped into the boxing ring against Floyd Mayweather on Saturday night and exceeded most objective expectations. He stayed competitive throughout and lasted far longer than what you’d expect for his first pro boxing fight, eventually losing by TKO in the 10th round.

Mayweather rocked McGregor pretty hard in the ninth round, and he was essentially out on his feet after that. McGregor didn’t go down, but he spent most of the 10th round on the ropes taking heavy hits before referee Robert Byrd called off the fight.

It was a fair stoppage, for the most part, but McGregor saw it differently. In his post-fight interview with Showtime’s Jim Gray, McGregor thought the referee should have kept the fight going:

I’ve been here before. I’ve been strangled on live TV and came back. So I dunno, I would’ve just let it go. It was some bullshit. To get in here in the squared circle, everything was different; it was a lot more fun. I thought it was close, I thought we was close. Don’t get me wrong. I get a little wobbly when I’m fatigued.

GRAY: Did you get tired?

MCGREGOR: That’s exactly what it is; it’s fatigue. That’s why I thought the ref could’ve just let it keep going. Let me go down; let the man put me down. Wobbly and fatigued, that’s energy, that’s not damage. I’m clear-headed.

McGregor started the fight hot, landing a flurry of early offense on Mayweather. However, his gas tank ran out as the fight went on, and Mayweather took over and dominated the later rounds. The ninth and 10th rounds were the most lopsided in Mayweather’s favor, leading to the TKO finish.

It was a much better and more entertaining fight than some people expected, and despite the loss McGregor didn’t embarrass himself. But he’s clearly not satisfied with what he felt was a premature end.