Conor McGregor says referee stopped Floyd Mayweather fight 'too early'

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Highlights, memes & funnies from 'an astonishing night'

Conor McGregor said referee Robert Byrd was wrong to stop his super-fight with Floyd Mayweather in the 10th round.

The UFC lightweight champion, 29, was beaten in his first professional boxing bout as 40-year-old Mayweather took his perfect career record to 50-0.

Irishman McGregor, who said he will return to the UFC but did not rule out boxing again in the future, said he was "just a little fatigued".

"I thought it was close. I get a little wobbly when I'm tired," he said.

"The referee could have let it keep going, let the man put me down. I am clear-headed.

"Where were the final two rounds? Let me wobble to the corner and make him put me down.

"I thought it was close and I thought it was a bit of an early stoppage."

McGregor said he should have been allowed the chance to find his "second wind".

"I had to experience that 12-round fatigue," he said. "In the spars, there was always those middle rounds where I'd get to six and I couldn't see the finish line.

"Then, when I'd get to 11 or 12, I could dig deep and get the second wind. That's why I would have loved to get to the end of that 10th round."

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I would rather have been knocked out - McGregor

McGregor salutes 'true champion' Mayweather

McGregor had the best of the early rounds but former five-weight world champion Mayweather said that was part of his "game plan".

"He's not that fast, he's not that powerful, but boy is he composed in there," added McGregor.

"I thought he switched the gameplan three times. I didn't anticipate three game changes in the fight, that's what a true champion does. I have to give respect to that.

"You have to give your hat to Floyd. That's what 50 pro fights will do for you.

"He hides himself well. I believe he was a hurt a few times but he kept his composure. I enjoyed it, I hope he did, it was a fun fight."

Malignaggi next for McGregor?

Paulie Malignaggi and Conor McGregor
Paulie Malignaggi exchanged words with McGregor earlier in the week

McGregor said he has "multiple titles to think about in UFC", but the possibility of another boxing contest looms large.

BBC boxing commentator Mike Costello said McGregor's display against Mayweather means a contest with former two-weight world champion Paulie Malignaggi on St Patrick's Day next March has become "a legitimate fight".

Retired Malignaggi, 36, sparred with McGregor in the build-up to the Mayweather fight but left the role claiming he was being exploited after images appeared on social media of him seemingly being floored.

McGregor did not directly address the prospect of a contest with Malignaggi, but added he has "many options in MMA" and that he is "sure there will be options that present themselves in the boxing ring".

"I am open," he said. "I love competing. But I can't tell you exactly what is next."

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