Many fans who watched the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight were of the mind that perhaps the fight was stopped too soon. Among those people who believed that was one of the men actually involved, Conor McGregor.
After the fight McGregor appeared to be very clear-headed when he stated, “I thought it was a little early of a stoppage. I get like that when I’m tired. I get a little wobbly and flowy. But get me into the corner and I’d have recovered and come back. I’d have liked to hit the floor. I’d have liked the ref … there’s a lot on the line here, he should have let me keep going, I thought.”
The thing is, the reason he was clear-headed and not being evaluated by a doctor at that moment was precisely because referee Robert Byrd stopped the fight when he did. Which is exactly the point none other than Floyd Mayweather himself made after the fight…
“I hear him talk about, ‘Oh, he should have let me go out on my back or go out on my face,’” Mayweather said. “No. The referee saved you because the referee is thinking about your future. You’re still young and we want you to be able to fight again someday.”
As for the specific reasons why referee Robert Byrd stopped the fight, a former ringside doctor Darragh O’Carroll, MD, explained on Tonic that it had nothing to do with McGregor being tired…
Byrd’s calculation to call a stoppage was likely not based on signs of fatigue, but rather signs of traumatic brain injury. Ataxia, or dizziness and loss of balance, is one of the hallmarks of concussion, a type of mild traumatic brain injury. Fatigue may cause sluggish and slow movements, but does not cause the imbalance and poor coordination exhibited by McGregor in the 10th round. Being wobbly, in the setting of pugilistic trauma, will always be treated as the result of head trauma and not as fatigue. To let a fighter continue on would be grossly negligent.
McGregor maintained, “it’s not damage, there’s always a patch in my fights where I go through this fatigue stage… but I wasn’t rocked.” As an Irishman and self-admitted McGregor fan, I would like to believe him, but as a physician and former ringside doctor, I believe the fight was stopped for his own safety. Byrd did an excellent job by stopping the fight when he did, as I’m certain the ringside physician and all members of the Association of Ringside Physicians would agree.
You know who else is glad the fight was stopped when it was? Dana White, for very obviou$ rea$on$.