(UPDATED) LAS VEGAS — A ruthless Floyd Mayweather scored a 10th-round technical knockout over mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor on Saturday, cementing his legacy as one of boxing's all-time greats.
McGregor, making his professional boxing debut, had boasted he would knock out the 40-year-old American early but his lack of ring savvy betrayed him as Mayweather improved to 50-0 to surpass heavyweight great Rocky Marciano's 49-0 record for most wins without a loss or draw.
Whether the megafight will be the richest of all-time, as promoters predicted, is still to be determined but Mayweather left no doubt of his place in the pantheon of boxing greats in what he said was his last fight.
As promised, McGregor came out full of fury and menace but Mayweather, long regarded as the finest defensive fighter to step into the ring, left few openings and used the first three rounds to feel out his opponent.
By the fourth round Mayweather went on the attack and started landing blow after blow against a suddenly desperate McGregor who was bravely hanging on while clutching and grabbing the American.
In the 10th, Mayweather moved in for kill pinning a visibly fatigued McGregor against the ropes and landing a flurry of punches when the referee stepped in to stop the fight.
Mayweather is expected to be about $200 million wealthier, taking his career earnings to about $1 billion.
McGregor, who was an unemployed former plumber four years ago before emerging as one of the biggest stars of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, is expected to earn around $100 million.
If pay-per-view television targets are met, the fight could become the most lucrative in history.
The start of the bout had been delayed by several minutes as anticipation built to fever pitch and television providers struggled to cope with the surge in demand from pay-per-view customers.
Anticipation had built steadily at ringside as an array of stars from the sports and entertainment worlds took their seats, including Bruce Willis, LeBron James and Mike Tyson.
Ever since the fight was announced in June, it had been dismissed as a farce and a freak show by the boxing community.
But fears of a one-sided massacre failed to materialize and McGregor finished with some respectable statistics. The Irishman's 111 landed punches were 30 more than Manny Pacquiao managed against Mayweather in their 2015 "Fight of the Century." -- With a report from Agence France-Presse.
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