Conor McGregor, Manny Pacquiao and misleading Floyd Mayweather claims

It really shouldn't have to be said, but Conor McGregor did not perform better than Manny Pacquiao in their respective fights with Floyd Mayweather.

That much should be clear from the bare fact that McGregor was stopped in the 10th round while two years earlier Pacquiao heard the final bell.

There is so much more to the analysis than that, of course, but recent regurgitated headlines have suggested the opposite is true.

Such is the modern media that old stories are constantly rehashed with the claim that the quotes, picture or video in question has 'resurfaced'. Nonsense.

But let's play along for now.

This week, old quotes from former UFC title contender Chael Sonnen 'resurfaced' which credited McGregor with outperforming Pacquiao.

Presumably these claims are based on the punch stats which UFC fans leaped on to 'prove' their man had bettered not just Pacquiao but most of Mayweather's other opponents too.

Officially, McGregor landed 111 punches on Mayweather compared to Pacquiao's 81.

For the record, Mayweather landed 170 on McGregor and 148 on Pacquiao.

The Irishman's fans doubled down on their belief when it was revealed McGregor landed 26 per cent of his punches (111 of 430) while Pacquiao managed just 19 per cent (81 of 429).

But the real story becomes clear when you actually watch the footage, something too time-consuming for keyboard warriors.

McGregor's punches barely qualify such was their 'tippy-tappy' nature, a stark contrast to his famed left hand which had knocked out Jose Aldo and Eddie Alvarez in the cage.

And then you consider how Mayweather prepared for his 50th and final fight.

"For Conor McGregor, I didn’t really train," he said. "All I did was do push-ups and sit-ups. That’s all I did. Push-ups and sit-ups, box a few times, hit the bag a few times."

Indeed, the ring legend seemed to be spending more time in his strip club than his gym and it was an open secret that he was barely giving McGregor a second thought.

The facts don't register with McGregor's fans however, and even the man himself continues to claim he would win a rematch.

And sadly the fight that would have proved them – and Sonnen – wrong now won't happen.

McGregor and Pacquiao were deep in negotiations over a fight later this year when the former UFC champion was KO'd by Dustin Poirier.

The idea that that fight would be anything other than a brutal mismatch is fanciful. Pacquiao has lost little of his power and would put McGregor away early.

Sadly, unless a deal can be resurrected, there will always be the question of 'what if?' – and in today's conspiracy theory-driven world, that's plenty for some people.

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