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$300m HEIST; BOXING EVERYONE'S A WINNER IN SIN CITY SHOWDOWN Fight pair pull off the ultimate financial job and leave with credibility intact.

Byline: ANDY DUNN IN LAS VEGAS sport@dailyrecord.co.uk

IN Las Vegas of all places, they pulled off the perfect heist.

They put their arms around each other and saluted the biggest financial coup in sporting history.

Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor looked like a pair of safecrackers who could barely believe they had just emptied Sin City's biggest vault.

Not only had they pulled it off, they had pulled it off with genuine credibility.

There was no fix, no farce. It turns out McGregor can box just a little bit and Mayweather had to earn what most will count as his 50th and final victory.

So many thought there would be losers but there were only winners. If the fighters, the promoters, the TV executives and the sponsors could actually have scripted it, this is how it would have panned out.

Mayweather, now with an extra $200million to flash, takes his leave with a fight better than his previous 'last' one against Manny Pacquiao.

McGregor landed punches, won rounds, took one of the greatest boxers to 10 and trousered $100m.

Boxing remains a noble art that just any old scrapper cannot succeed in, while Mixed Martial Arts will get some new viewers when the charismatic Conor returns to his day job.

This was no charade and the bottom line is that McGregor has got some serious cojones.

No matter how much you are getting paid, to step into the ring and go toe to toe with the best pound-forpound fighter of modern times takes some level of courage.

McGregor was even annoyed with referee Robert Byrd for not allowing him to get flattened.

The UFC poster-man is genuinely fearless. He said: "I'm open to all options now. I'm fresh to fight, that's what I love doing."

Those options can surely not include boxing.

There might have been some fanciful notions of McGregor causing a seismic shock when he enjoyed himself in the opening exchanges but there was never any doubting the outcome.

McGregor landed 111 punches, more than most have done against Mayweather, but Floyd's face remained blemish-free.

After the first couple of rounds Mayweather, who had not sparred for a month, could move with unusual directness because he knew McGregor simply could not hurt him.

Mayweather said: "He was solid but it wasn't the type of power where I could not come forward."

Taking boxer retirement announcements seriously is a dangerous game but this seems to be the end for Mayweather, who could clearly not believe his luck over this one. He said: "I'm not a fool. If I see the opportunity to make PS300m in 36 minutes, why not?" But what now for the 29-year-old McGregor, a character certainly not to everyone's taste? Outside the UFC radius he has now got a new audience and the curious thing is he mixes distasteful trash talk with a disarming honesty and charm.

He said: "I gave a good account of myself. I really enjoyed it. It was a fun fight but it was just fatigue. I just got bollocksed."

He did give a good account of himself but not good enough to believe this sort of crossover event will happen again in the near future. Not with him or anyone else.

UFC president Dana White said: "This was freakish, a one-off.

"This isn't what he does. He's a mixed martial artist, he's better when he uses all of his weapons. He did great but I want to see him back in the UFC."

Which is where he will return to even though he does not have to. Not after this great Vegas job.

Like partners in the wake of a beautiful super-crime, Mayweather and McGregor disentangled themselves and went their separate ways. One heading for his own strip club, one for a yacht in the Mediterranean.

Each celebrating their perfect heist.

I gave good account of myself. It was a fun fight but it was just fatigue CONOR MCGREGOR

CAPTION(S):

SAFE-CRACKER OF A CONTEST McGregor put up a brave fight but Mayweather prevailed
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:1U8NV
Date:Aug 28, 2017
Words:676
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