Conor McGregor eyes bright future despite boxing defeat

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one still on Las Vegas time.

As the country tries to reset its collective bodyclock following the early rising of Sunday to catch the so-called Money Fight, Conor McGregor might also be reappraising his own future after a 10-round technical knockout by Floyd Mayweather propelled him, even in defeat, into a new sporting realm.

The 29-year-old made his name in the octagon of mixed martial arts (MMA) and UFC top brass are keen to bring him back, but his loss to Mayweather, in circumstances which exceeded the expectations of many boxing fans, may have opened up the possibility of getting back in the ring.

“I have many options in mixed martial arts,” an ebullient McGregor said after the loss to Mayweather.

“I’m sure there’s options that will present themselves in the boxing game. But right now I’m a free agent. My name is on the ring.”

Yet while the manner of his defeat will have gained him increased respect from fight experts, there was little doubt that Mayweather, in extending his unbeaten career to 50 fights despite coming out of a two-year retirement, was always in control.

He said he was now absolutely finished with boxing, and paid tribute to McGregor, claiming he may even have underestimated the Dubliner’s boxing skills prior to the fight.

Asked what he liked most about his boxing experience, “money” was Mayweather’s reply.

McGregor’s purse from the weekend workout far exceeded anything he had previously scored in the MMA world he has come to dominate.

“The cheque is all right. The cheque is not bad,” he laughed as he sipped his own Notorious-brand whiskey on the podium of the post-fight media conference.

“I’ve already been raising the MMA cheques. I’m still going to be raising the MMA cheques when I go back there,” he added.

McGregor has started his own website, a clothing line, and a number of other businesses, and he was clearly delighted to see the logo of his latest venture, McGregor Sports and Entertainment, in the ring at Saturday’s fight.

So what next? UFC boss Dana White said of the likelihood of McGregor staying in boxing: “I would rather he did not.”

He would prefer McGregor to take on Nate Diaz, who beat him last year.

McGregor was later spotted partying at Las Vegas nightclub Surrender and is now due to travel to Ibiza for a friend’s wedding.

As he bobs about on a yacht on the Mediterranean, he has to consider whether
fighting Diaz in the UFC can compete with the heady thrills of the boxing ring.

Whether it’s square or octagonal, we could still be living in a McGregor-shaped world.

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