Archive for the ‘boxing’ Category

Comments by the Irish press after Conor McGregor’s loss to Floyd Mayweather

August 27, 2017

American boxer Floyd “Money” Mayweather earned his 50th straight win in a 10th round TKO of Irish UFC champion Conor “The Notorious” McGregor.  Here are some comments made by the Irish press after McGregor’s loss.

The Irish Times — “McGregor was more than gracious [after his loss].  He was almost ebullient, waving a glass of his soon-to-be-launched whiskey brand . . . . And if he seemed a touch more euphoric than beaten boxers generally are, you could understand why. He had faced one of the greats and avoided total humiliation, he had escaped without serious injury, and his earnings, once his cut of the pay-per-view, gate receipts, and merchandise sales is added to the guaranteed $30 million purse, could total around $100 million, making this by far the most lucrative debut in professional boxing history. He didn’t quite get to the top of the world, but from where he’s standing the view doesn’t look too bad.”  (Tim Early, Despite defeat in the ring McGregor has still won.)

Irish Independent — “The UFC lightweight champion was the subject of some ridiculous criticism prior to last evening’s bout and for much of the build-up to the fight he was ridiculed as an unworthy opponent who was simply a part of Floyd Mayweather’s latest cash grab. That was all quickly proven to be inaccurate lat evening and the Irishman did himself, his country, and the sport of MMA proud.” (James Edwards, Conor McGregor may have lost but he won UFC respect in the world of boxing in Floyd Mayweather defeat.)

The Irish Sun — “With the blows raining down on McGregor he should have taken an eight count and perhaps prolonged Mayweather’s 50th bout. But he courageously refused to meet the canvas and instead was rescured by referee Robert Byrd before he was seriously hurt.” (Wally Downes Jr., Floyd Mayweather beats gutsy Conor McGregor with 10th round stoppage to seal place in history.)

Irish Daily Star — “The Notorious put up a fight against the boxing veteran. Mayweather eventually won by TKO in the tenth round. He can sail off into the sunset with his undefeated record intact at 50-0. It’s a different story for McGregor. At just 29-years-old, the Dubliner still has a lot of time to fill and things to do before he announces his retirement. . . . Even though McGregor’s professional boxing record stands at 0-1, he changed a lot of people’s minds last night by putting it up to one of the best ever.”  (Sean Walsh, Conor McGregor lost to Mayweather, but what will he do next?)

Irish Daily Mirror — “Conor McGregor will spend a few days reflecting on his defeat by Floyd Mayweather but talk will then return to the Irishman’s next fight. McGregor started well against the boxing legend on Saturday night before he fatigued and Mayweather’s class prevailed.  And [McGregor] is now expected to return to the UFC.”  (Martin Domin, What next for Conor McGregor? Irishman faces tough decisions after defeat by Floyd Mayweather.)

Irish Daily Mail — “But there were no tickets to spare for McGregor’s official after-party, which took place at the Encore Beach Club in Las Vegas in the early hours of Sunday. McGregor had been stopped by Mayweather in round 10, but the defiant Irishman grabbed the mic and shouted to his reveling supporters: ‘You’ll never beat the Irish!’ . . . The 29-year-old, who earned a basic purse of 62 million pounds for the fight, certainly did not look like a man who had lost.  Before dancing on stage to Fat Joe’s All the Way Up, he addressed his adoring fans. . . . McGregor, who arrived at the club around 3 am, supplied his entourage with free drinks to the value of 77,643 pounds.” (Robert Summerscales, Conor McGregor celebrates hard despite losing to Floyd Mayweather as 62 million pound richer MMA fighter signs for 77,643 pound booze bill and tells fans at 150 pound-a-ticket after-party: ‘You’ll never beat the Irish’.”)

The Irish News — “Conor McGregor was ‘brought to school’ by Floyd Mayweather and needs to ‘stay in his lane,’ according to former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis. UFC star McGregor lasted 10 rounds with Mayweather in his maiden professional boxing match in Las Vegas, as his opponent stopped him to retire with a perfect 50-0 record.  Many had predicted McGregor would barely last a round with one of the greatest fighters of all time, so he has earned some credit to have stayed the course for as long as he did.”  (Conor McGregor given boxing lesson by Mayweather say Lennox Lewis.)

The Straits Times — “Irish media hailed Dublin-born Conor McGregor for a gritty display on Sunday following his 10th-round loss to Floyd Mayweather in their Las Vegas super-fight. . . . McGregor wears his Irish identity with pride and trooped into the ring draped in the national flag in front of thousands of his supporters, who had spent vast sums of money to fly to Las Vegas.”  (AFP, Irish media talks up Conor McGregor’s fighting spirit despite loss.)

Irish Examiner — “Conor McGregor was told he had ‘nothing to be ashamed of’ by boxing great Lennox Lewis and several others came out in support of the Irishman as the dust started to settle on his round 10 loss to Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas.  The UFC star was not expected to last longer than a round by many on his boxing debut, particularly given his opponent is one of the greatest fighters of all time. But going into the 10th round has earned him plenty of credit, particularly on American soil, with the bout described as ‘amazing’ and McGregor praised for making the notoriously cagey Mayweather open up.”  The article noted that Shane Mosley tweeted: “Damn good fight. Mayweather put on a hell of a show. Conor did much better than I had expected. Hats off to both guys. Worth the money.” The article also quoted a tweet by Manny Pacquiao: “Respect to McGregor for taking a chance but congrats to Floyd on #50!”  (Conor McGregor receives support from boxing legends after loss.)


Filipino boxing champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao TKOs Oscar “Golden Boy” de la Hoya in the “Dream Match”

December 7, 2008

Oscar “Golden Boy” de la Hoya (39-5, 30 KOs) and Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (47-3-2, 35 KOs)  fought Dec. 6, 2008 in a welterweight fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas that was billed as the “Dream Match.”

Pacquiao moved up two weight divisions to face de la Hoya, who was considered boxing’s greatest superstar during the past 10 years.  For de la Hoya, 35, it was a chance to prove that he was still a great fighter or, perhaps, to show that it was time for him to retire from the sport.

A gold medalist in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, de la Hoya had won 10 world titles in six different weight divisions.  His victories came over big names in the sport like Julio Cesar Chavez,  Fernando Vargas and Pernell Whitaker.   However, de la Hoya, a native of Mexico and East Los Angeles, had fought only four times during the past four years and lost twice.

Three of de la Hoya’s five losses came at the MGM: to Floyd Mayweather, Jr., in 2007, to Bernard Hopkins in 2004 and to Shane Mosley in 2003.  But the MGM is also where de la Hoya beat Richard Mayorga, Arturo Gatti, Felix Strum and Javier Castillejo.







Pacquiao, who will be 30 on Dec. 17,  2008, is considered by many to be the best “pound for pound” boxer in the world.  He had won his last eight fights.  His wins included two knockout victories over Erik Morales together with wins over Marco Antonio Barrera and Juan Manuel Martinez. (Pacquiao’s last loss was a 12-round unanimous decision by Morales three years ago at the MGM.)

Because of Pacquiao’s wins over Morales, Berrera and Martinez, he earned the nickname of the “Mexecutioner.”

“They call me Mexecutioner but I don’t like it, I’m just doing my job,” Pacquiao said.  

Shortly before fight time, de la Hoya was favored.  The best odds  for gamblers backing de lay Hoya were -150.  (A bet of $150 on de la Hoya would pay $100 if he won.)  The best odds for Pacquiao to win were +180. (A bet of $100 on Pacquiao would pay $180 if he prevailed.)

“I will be extremely, extremely disappointed if this fight doesn’t end in a knockout,” de la Hoya said.  “It will be a total disaster for me.”

de la Hoya added:

If you have a fighter who is going to come at me, a fighter who is going to throw some strong punches with full force and is going to stay in front of me and has his heart to fight as hard as he can, then I welcome it.  I open up the door and let them right into my home.  Hey, let’s fight.

Pacquiao, a native of the Philippines, made his debut 13 years ago as a 106-pounder.  He won his first title at 112 pounds and his last title during June 2008 at 135 pounds, a lightweight bout against David Diaz.  He had never fought an opponent as large as de la Hoya, who fought at weights as high as 160 pounds.

“It’s going to be boxing history if I win the fight,” Pacquiao said.  “I believe my power and my speed can beat him.”

“Manny Pacquiao can handle the weight gain because of his power and speed,” de la Hoya said.   de la Hoya added:

He’s not the slowest fighter out there.  He’s possibly the fastest fighter out there.  A Manny Pacquiao who’s  going to jump up 10 pounds, 20 pounds or 30 pounds is still  a fast Manny Pacquiao so I think it’s not going to affect him that much the way it affected me because I jumped up six weight classes  and by the sixth one, it was tough.

Pacquiao is a hero in the Philippines and is mobbed everywhere in goes in his country.   President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo called on the nation to rally behind Pacquiao and to pray for him because the fighter had brought so much international honor and recognition to the Philippines.

“The entire nation, a nation of 90 million people, is focusing on [Pacquiao’s] every move,” said boxing promoter Bob Arum.  “It is the most important topic of conversation in the Philippines.”

“If Manny wins, I see him as the greatest Asian fighter of all time,” said boxing historian and sports writer Bert Sugar.

Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, predicted that the fight would be stopped in the ninth round.  de la Hoya predicted that he would knock out Pacquiao within five rounds.

Pacquiao entered the ring for the scheduled 12-round bout dressed in a red, white and blue robe: the colors of the Philippine flag. He went directly to his corner where he kneeled for several seconds to pray.  de la Hoya then entered the ring in a red robe with a trailing banner depicting the American flag on one side and the Mexican flag on the other side.

Before referee Tony Weeks gave the signal to the fighters to begin, three national anthems were played: the anthem of the Philippines for Pacquiao and the anthems of Mexico and the United States for de la Hoya.  Within the crowd of about 16,000 persons were entertainers such as Jennifer Lopez, Eva Longoria and Russell Crowe, sports stars such as Magic  Johnson, Gary Sheffield and Reggie Miller, and boxers such as Mike Tyson, Thomas Hearns and Juan Manuel Marquez.

The fight was described by the Associated Press as “lopsided from the beginning, with Pacquiao landing punch after punch while De La Hoya chased after him, trying to catch him with a big punch.”  

Before the beginning of the ninth round, de la Hoya’s left eye was closed shut as he sat on his stool.  The ring doctor and de la Hoya’s cornermen discussed the fighter’s condition.  de la Hoya did not complain when it was decided that the fight must be stopped.  It was only the second time in de la Hoya’s 16-year pro career that he was stopped in a fight.

“He was empty,” said de la Hoya’s trainer, Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain.  “I stopped the fight.”

de la Hoya got off his stool and walked across the ring to congratulate Pacquiao.

“You’re still my idol,” Pacquiao said to de la Hoya.

“No, you’re my idol,” de la Hoya replied.

“We knew we had him after the first round,” said Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer said.  “He had no legs, he was hesitant and he was shot.”

“Freddie, you’re right,” de la Hoya said.  “I just don’t have it anymore.”

“Oscar was in good condition but he couldn’t control the southpaw stance or Manny’s style,” said Nacho Beristain,  in his first fight as de lay Hoya’s trainer.  “He just didn’t seem to have the strength to stop him.”

Two of the three judges awarded every round to Pacquiao.  One judge awarded the first round to de la Hoya.  The score cards were 79-72, 80-71 and  80-71 for Pacquiao.  It was reported that Pacquiao was paid $11 million and de la Hoya was paid $20 million for the fight.

“He’s just a great fighter,” de la Hoya said about Pacquiao.  “I have nothing bad to say about him.  He  prepared like a true champion.”

Pacquiao’s next big fight is likely to be against England’s Ricky “The Hitman”  Hatton (45-1, 32 KOs) in the spring or early summer.