Conor McGregor’s message to Floyd Mayweather immediately after defeat

Three years ago today, Conor McGregor made his professional boxing debut against none other than Floyd Mayweather.

In one corner was a two-weight UFC world champion with a handful of amateur boxing fights – in the other was one of the greatest fighters who ever lived.

In what proved to be the second-richest fight of all time behind Mayweather's points win over rival Manny Pacquiao, the ring legend eased his way to a 10th-round stoppage – and his 50th professional victory.

McGregor, however, who was never able to trouble his ageing opponent, insisted the fight should not have been stopped.

After referee Robert Byrd had stepped in, McGregor went to congratulate Mayweather, and said: "I punched you a lot in the early rounds. Your composure is great though, fair play to you. A little early, a little early."

The Irishman, who has not boxed since, has always insisted he would exact his revenge in a rematch, but Mayweather has little interest in engaging for a second time.

Now 43, Mayweather's only outing since 2017 was an one-sided exhibition against Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa on New Year's Eve the following year.

McGregor returned to the UFC where he was choked out by Khabib Nurmagomedov before bouncing back with a 40-second demolition of Donald Cerrone.

And the Dubliner insists he remains ready to take on Mayweather for a second time.

"I know I would win," he has said. "I would like to rematch him under boxing rules again and I believe I would win. Actually, there I go again with that fake humbleness… I know I would win!

"When I went into the fight, in the early rounds I was whooping him, in the early rounds. I went back to my corner after the first round and I said, 'This is easy!'… and then he had to switch up his style."

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