Floyd Mayweather's unbeaten protege still has a lot to learn

Floyd Mayweather's unbeaten protege still has a lot to learn
Gervonta Davis goes on the offensive against Francisco Fonseca during their junior-lightweight bout Saturday night in Las Vegas. (Isaac Brekken / Associated Press)

On the night Floyd Mayweather Jr. passed Rocky Marciano to reach 50-0 with a 10th-round technical knockout of UFC champion Conor McGregor, a rich example of how difficult the task of such longevity immediately preceded.

Mayweather's unbeaten 22-year-old protégé, Gervonta "Tank" Davis, lost his world-title belt by weighing two pounds over the junior-lightweight limit Friday. He then fought a disjointed Saturday bout, defeating Costa Rica's Francisco Fonseca by knocking him out with a prohibited punch behind the head that went undisciplined.


Through the weight challenges, the stiff opponents and life's varying moods and rough stretches, Mayweather found a way to be consistently good each night he stepped in the ring.

"Tank is young. When I was young, I would've made those same mistakes if I didn't have my father in my life — a coach who was extremely hard on me," Mayweather Jr. said of his trainer, Floyd Mayweather Sr., after the bout.

"If he didn't discipline me, I don't know how my career would've played out. I didn't want to slack or seem irresponsible or not disciplined. I always sacrificed. You've got to sacrifice something to get to the pinnacle, and that's what I did."

Reflection struck in the McGregor bout as Mayweather said he told himself during his slow start, "Relax, you've been here before."

The father-son bond was at play when they decided they wanted McGregor to use up his energy early and "take our time, keep switching [hands], then shoot hard shots to the body and eventually we'd break him down … it took a little longer than we expected, but I stuck to the game plan."

ALL OVER, RIGHT?: Mayweather said he was officially done fighting after the bout, but he has retreated on that vow at least three times in the past.

And as some reporters left the arena early Sunday morning, one of Mayweather's bodyguards said, "I'd like to see him fight the [Sept. 16] winner of Canelo [Alvarez]-GGG [Gennady Golovkin]. I think Floyd wins that one, too."

ONE-TIME ONLY: UFC president Dana White was incredibly proud of how McGregor represented the UFC brand in his showing against McGregor, too, but he retreated quickly from the idea of making the boxing-UFC "crisscross," as McGregor calls it, a routine occurrence.

"I would rather [McGregor] did not" box again. "He did great tonight. I don't know that there's anything left to prove.

"I'm ready to get back to the UFC and do what I do. I don't even want to talk about other guys in a boxing match. … It was a real special rarity and I'm not looking to do this again."

However, UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic quickly called out England's two-belt heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua after the bout.

HELLO, MAX?: White took satisfaction in sticking it to one member of the snooty boxing crowd who gave McGregor no chance.

White said he was trying to reach HBO boxing analyst and ESPN personality Max Kellerman for a pre-fight "hot take" that McGregor wouldn't land one punch on Mayweather.

"I've been trying to get a hold of him, he's not answering his phone right now," White said after McGregor landed 111 punches on the 40-year-old Mayweather, who limited four-division champion Juan Manuel Marquez to 69 punches landed more than five years ago.


TWITTER LOVE: On social media, McGregor was praised by respected boxers following his showing.

Former seven-division champion Manny Pacquiao tweeted, "Respect to McGregor for taking a chance, but congrats to Floyd on #50."

"Conor kept it interesting, but he was outboxed and outclassed in the square ring. Nothing to be ashamed of tho. I like him even more now," former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis tweeted.

"Great fight. Congrats to both McGregor & Mayweather … well spent money," former heavyweight champion George Foreman posted.

And UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway, who has won 10 straight fights since a McGregor defeat, wrote, "Respect @TheNotoriousMMA [McGregor] showed the world we can compete #MayweatherMcGregor."

HURT HAND?: Mayweather was actually outjabbed by McGregor, and the way he described his condition afterward, it's not a stretch to assume he hurt his left hand in training.

He said he didn't spar during the last month of training. "It was an injury. I wanted my hands to be 100% for the fight. My hands are real brittle. I wanted my hands to be solid."

GREED IS A BAD THING: By overpricing tickets to Mayweather-McGregor, Mayweather's manager, Al Haymon, lost his case that he wants boxing in front of as many people as possible.

Saturday's T-Mobile Arena attendance was 14,623, about 6,000 empty seats shy of the capacity crowd in May's Canelo Alvarez-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. bout.

"You're not going to always get it right," Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe admitted to the Los Angeles Times after the bout.

"It's all about delivering. The fans who were here enjoyed themselves. For the ones who were here, it was a great event."

Haymon set prices for UFC champion McGregor's pro boxing debut at costs that matched Mayweather's 2015 victory over seven-division champion Manny Pacquiao — $10,000 for floor seats, and nothing in the lower bowl for less than $3,500.

One section appeared mostly empty in the building, and the massive number of Irish seen on The Strip were noticeably lessened inside the arena.

Veteran Las Vegas ticket broker Ken Solky, who handles many of Mayweather's tickets, told The Times earlier Saturday that the UFC and MGM Resorts turned in several hundred tickets back to Ticketmaster for public sale after failing to distribute them their own way.

Still, the lofty prices accomplished the intended goal.

Mayweather said after the bout that the money set a new combat-sports live-gate record of near $80 million.

Twitter: @latimespugmire