LAS VEGAS, United States. — THE most improbable fight, one between an all-time great in Floyd Mayweather and an opponent, Conor McGregor, making his professional boxing debut, ended in the most probable way. It ended with a dominant Mayweather stopping an outclassed McGregor by TKO in the 10th round of their massively hyped junior middleweight fight on Saturday night before 14,623 — well under capacity — at T-Mobile Arena.

Mayweather, who moved his record to a historic 50-0 with 27 knockouts, said after the fight he would return to retirement.

“This was my last fight tonight. For sure,” Mayweather said. “Tonight was my last fight. Tonight I chose the right dance partner to dance with. Conor you are a hell of a champion.”

With the victory, Mayweather surpassed the hallowed 49-0 mark that great heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano retired with. It’s not a boxing record, but it is revered. There are some who said that beating an opponent with no boxing experience was a disgraceful way to pass Marciano, but Mayweather made no apologies.

“A win is a win, no matter how you get it,” said Mayweather, who said during the buildup that he would consider it a failure if he didn’t score a knockout. “Rocky Marciano is a legend, and I look forward to going into the Hall of Fame one day.”

There was no logical reason to give McGregor, the UFC’s 155-pound champion and one of the best mixed martial artists in the world but not a boxer, a chance in a boxing ring, but that didn’t stop legions from cheering for the underdog. But in the end it was Mayweather, a five-division world champion and the greatest fighter of his era, whose class shined through after a bit of a slow start, which he said was part of his game plan.

McGregor (0-1) was the one who dreamed up the fight, which has a chance to break all the combat sports revenue records set by Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao in 2015, when he mentioned during a television interview he was interested in leaving MMA for a fight with Mayweather.

Mayweather, happy in retirement, eventually came around, and the public ate it up. He ended a two-year layoff to make a guaranteed $100 million but likely will make well in excess of $200 million, while McGregor was guaranteed $30 million and likely will earn more than $100 million for a fight that had an irresistible storyline: Could an MMA great cross over to the boxing ring and do the unimaginable? — ESPN

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