Despite an ugly prelude in the weeks leading up to “The Money Fight,” a lot of beautiful people came out to see Floyd Mayweather defeat Conor McGregor in a 10th round TKO in Las Vegas.
Before the bout, the pink carpet at the T-Mobile Arena was filled with stars from many constellations—sports, movies, music, modeling, as well as the Forbes 400—some of whom even posed with the WBC Money Belt.
Among the celebrities who joined in the pre-fight festivities were Bruce Willis, Charlize Theron, Jamie Foxx, Karlie Kloss and Don Cheadle.
From the world of music, Jennifer Lopez attended the fight (with Alex Rodriguez), along with Chance the Rapper, Sean Combs, and Ozzy Osbourne.Before the match, Imelda May sang Ireland’s national anthem, while Demi Lovato belted out “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
The non-title bout also brought out A-List athletes including LeBron James, James Harden, Mike Tyson and Michael Irvin.
And while the T-Mobile Arena may have been well short of 20,000-seat capacity for the main event—the official attendance was announced at 14,623—that only left more room for the celebrities at ringside, including Steve Harvey, New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft (who flew with J. Lo and A. Rod on his private plane), Jeff Gordon, and Chris Hemsworth.
As for the fight itself, despite lopsided odds and dire predictions from experts, it turned out to be a surprisingly entertaining match. McGregor, who crossed over from the UFC to fight Mayweather under the Marquess of Queensberry rules showed he was worthy of being in the ring with the undefeated Mayweather—in the opening rounds.
Mayweather took some early punishment from McGregor (including some questionable blows to the top of his head), but by the 4th round, Mayweather had The Notorious One figured out. Uncharacteristically, Mayweather stalked McGregor in the ring and eventually wore down the UFC star. McGregor looked gassed in the 9th and Mayweather applied more pressure in the next round, until referee Robert Byrd stopped the fight after just over a minute in the 10th, giving Mayweather the knockout he had predicted before the fight.
When it was over, Mayweather improved to 50-o—moving him past Rocky Marciano’s hallowed boxing record of 49-0—and announced his retirement (once again). “I think we gave the fans what they wanted to see,” Mayweather said. “I owed them for the Pacquiao fight. I had to come straight ahead and give the fans a show. I feel like I owed the fans for my last hurrah.”
As for the preternaturally brash McGregor, he was surprisingly humble in defeat, even if he didn’t think the fight should have been stopped so early. At the post fight conference—wielding his Notorious brand of whiskey—he was gracious about Mayweather.
“You gotta take your hat off to Floyd,” McGregor told the crowd. “Congratulations. It was a good fight, it was a bit of fun.” McGregor continued. “He’s very composed….I believe he was hurt a few times but he keeps his composure and doesn’t show it. Look, I enjoyed it. I hope you all enjoyed it. It was a fun fight.” Then he got down to what really mattered—the hundreds of millions of dollars both men will earn for the fight: “The check is alright,” McGregor joked. “The check’s not bad.”