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Referee ‘saved’ Floyd Mayweather from Conor McGregor in round 9, says Skip Bayless

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The Fox Sports personality is, at least in part, chalking Mayweather’s eventual success up to referee intervention following an apparent low blow in the 9th round.

Maybe this is just one of those ‘MMA angles’ that everyone was talking about.

Conor McGregor’s boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr. wasn’t half as crazy as it could have been. McGregor threw some hammerfists, Mayweather turned and gave his back to McGregor a lot more than he likely needed to, there was the – somewhat McGregor-created – controversy around whether the stoppage was early. But, for the most part, it was a pretty reasonable boxing match between a relative novice and a crafty veteran.

One moment, however, is sparking a little extra controversy – at least in the mind of Fox Sports 1 personality Skip Bayless. The die-hard Conor McGregor supporter took to Facebook after the bout with a video rant, in part targeted at Robert Byrd’s decision to pause the fight for an apparent low blow in the 9th Round (via Zombie Prophet).

The break in action lasted about 20 seconds, and was quickly followed by Mayweather marching McGregor down, hands high, as the Irishman spent much of the last of his energy reserves. McGregor was TKO’d in the 10th, largely due to his exhaustion and the number of unanswered shots he was eating. But, if not for Byrd’s intervention, Bayless seems confident things could have gone differently (transcript via MMA Mania).

“The whole thing flipped and turned in round number nine...” said Bayless. “Floyd Mayweather was in trouble in this fight. But, the turning point to me, and I would like to see the video of this came in round nine.”
“Then in nine, he comes out aggressive and he stunned Floyd. He hit him with a hard left, rocked him and buckled him and Floyd’s in trouble in the corner and when Conor goes in for the ‘kill,’ it happened so fast I need to see a replay, but he had him and Robert Byrd pulls him away.”

“In that moment, I thought that’s it,” Bayless continued. “Again, I’m just going off my instinct, my gut and Conor had him on the ropes. He was then backed off to the middle of the ring and he had spent himself on that salvo. Eight took a lot out of McGregor.”

“He took a shot to end it early in round nine and he got pulled off. I swear Robert Byrd saved the fight. He saved it. Byrd, longtime referee in Las Vegas, highly respected. but he gave Floyd a big break he didn’t deserve.”

Eventually, by the CompuBox stats, Mayweather landed 42 of 68 punches thrown that round, 39 of them power shots. By comparison, McGregor landed 10 of 36, with 8 of those being significant strikes.

For as long as it stays online, you can see the entirety of the last two rounds in the video below, starting with the possible low blow early in round 9.


Was it a low blow?

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    It’s clearly low. Nothing to see here.
    (787 votes)
  • 41%
    No, it was a clean shot... Oh man, am I agreeing with Skip?
    (1372 votes)
  • 34%
    Low or not, it wouldn’t have mattered.
    (1139 votes)
3298 votes total Vote Now