Conor McGregor did do a lot better than expected by many against Floyd Mayweather Jr. But what was quite a stretch was the stats that came out after, showing how the UFC lightweight champion landed more punches than boxing greats Manny Pacquiao, Shane Mosley and Miguel Cotto.
As expected, Mayweather had an answer for it. In a recent interview with Fight Hype, Floyd Jr. downplayed these stats with his own explanation.
“That's because I wasn't counter-punching and boxing,” Mayweather said (transcript via MMA Fighting). “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.”
McGregor’s boxing coach Owen Roddy later admitted that the team was not prepared for this strategy that Mayweather employed. But for the former pound-for-pound boxing king simply lived up to his pre-fight promise, despite the fact that he could have chosen to play his usual defensive approach.
“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,” Mayweather said.
"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.”