“I turned him into a Mexican tonight. He fought like a Mexican.”
Sounds pretty bad, right?
Especially when you consider that the man who said it, Conor McGregor, had already made quite a few racially insensitive comments on the media tour in the buildup to the fight itself. He at one point told Floyd Mayweather, “Dance for me, boy.” He used a stereotype to claim he’s “half-black, from the belly button down.” And so on.
But there’s an underlying explanation for McGregor’s comments after his stoppage loss to Floyd Mayweather on Saturday night – albeit one based on another stereotype.
— The Sports Junky (@TheSportsJunky1) August 27, 2017
Over the years, Mexican fighters have long been considered by boxing pundits as some of the toughest, most exciting fighters in the sport due to the forward-charging, all-action style of many of their most famous stars.
From Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. to Oscar De La Hoya to Erik Morales to Canelo Alvarez and on and on, Mexican boxers have long thrilled boxing audiences with their aggressive approach in the ring.
Of course, Mayweather has been derided throughout his career (especially the latter portion of it) for his propensity to play it safe and simply outbox his opponents. He’s done it because he can. He’s better than everybody he’s faced in the ring, so he keeps his distance and does his thing. And there’s been a considerable amount of backlash to his style – especially for his 2015 fight against Manny Pacquiao.
Mayweather himself even admitted during the post-fight news conference that some of his fights in the past “were boring,” so he wanted to press for the knockout against McGregor to end his career on a high note and give the fans something to be excited about.
He did exactly that as he pushed forward and went toe-to-toe with the Irishman for much of the bout, not backing down from the heavier and stronger fighter. When McGregor started to gas out, Mayweather smelled blood and stayed right in his face, tagging the MMA star constantly until referee RobertByrd jumped in to stop the action early in the 10th round.
It was an exciting fight, for sure – much more exciting than many boxing purists were claiming (or maybe hoping) it would be. That was a result of both Mayweather’s and McGregor’s willingness to stand and trade.
So was McGregor’s offhand postfight comment simply a harmless compliment, or was it another McGregor joke that went sideways? You decide …
More Mayweather-McGregor coverage from Yahoo Sports:
• Mayweather picks up big TKO win over McGregor
• McGregor unhappy with stoppage: ‘Let the man put me down!‘
• Sports world reacts to Mayweather’s 50th career win
• Why was Floyd Mayweather wearing a ski mask?
• Why was T-Mobile Arena so empty for Mayweather-McGregor bout?