The now 50-0 unbeaten former five-weight world champion withstood an early flurry from the Irishman before pouring on the class late to eventually stop the UFC star in the 10th round of an absorbing contest at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
And 40-year-old Mayweather admitted afterwards that McGregor gave him everything he could handle.
“He is a tough competitor and I thought we gave the fans what they wanted to see,” he said in the ring afterwards. “He is a lot better than I thought he was, he used different angles and was a tough competitor but I was the better man tonight.
“Our game-plan was to take our time, let him shoot all his heavy shots early on and then take him down at the end, down the stretch. We know in the MMA he fights 25 minutes real hard and after that he starts to slow down.”
“I guaranteed this fight wouldn’t go the distance. A win is a win.”
Mayweather’s victory takes his record to an unprecedented 50-0 and he insists this was his last outing in the ring: “This was my last fight tonight, my last fight, for sure. I chose the right dance partner to dance with.”
McGregor will walk away with his reputation intact after putting up an accomplished showing in his first professional bout but believes the referee Robert Byrd called time on the fight too early.
“I took the early rounds fairly handy,” he said. “I thought it was close, I thought the stoppage was a bit early, there was a lot on the line and I thought he should have let me carry on. I was just a little fatigued. He is composed and you have got to give it to him.
“I thought it was close. I get a little wobbly when I’m tired, it is fatigue, the referee could have let it keep going, let the man put me down. I am clear headed. Where were the final two rounds? Let me wobble to the corner and make him put me down.
“I’ve been strangled on live TV and came back. When you’re in here in the squared circle, everything is different.”
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