Ringside Doctor Explains Why Referee Stopped Mayweather-McGregor Fight

When Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeated Conor McGregor by TKO on Saturday night, there was some murmurs among viewers that the referee, Robert Byrd, may have called the fight too early.

McGregor himself agreed with that sentiment, as we wanted to go out being completely knocked out.

"I thought it was a little early of a stoppage," he said. "I get like that when I’m tired. I get a little wobbly and flowy. But get me into the corner and I’d have recovered and come back. I’d have liked to hit the floor. I’d have liked the ref … there’s a lot on the line here, he should have let me keep going, I thought.”

Dr. Darragh O’Carroll, a former ringside doctor, wrote a piece for Tonic in which he details why Byrd made the right call. O’Carroll says that Byrd prevented the UFC fighter from receive severe brain damage.

"Byrd’s calculation to call a stoppage was likely not based on signs of fatigue, but rather signs of traumatic brain injury," O’Carroll wrote. "Ataxia, or dizziness and loss of balance, is one of the hallmarks of concussion, a type of mild traumatic brain injury. Fatigue may cause sluggish and slow movements, but does not cause the imbalance and poor coordination exhibited by McGregor in the 10th round.

"Being wobbly, in the setting of pugilistic trauma, will always be treated as the result of head trauma and not as fatigue. To let a fighter continue on would be grossly negligent."

The doctor, who was pulling for McGregor in the match, says that as much as McGregor may have insisted he was just 'tired,' he was more than likely on the verge of severe injury.

"As an Irishman and self-admitted McGregor fan, I would like to believe him, but as a physician and former ringside doctor, I believe the fight was stopped for his own safety," he writes. "Byrd did an excellent job by stopping the fight when he did, as I’m certain the ringside physician and all members of the Association of Ringside Physicians would agree."


Mayweather has sounded off on the issue and agrees with the referee's decision.

“I hear (Conor) talk about, ‘Oh, he should have let me go out on my back or go out on my face,’” Mayweather said. “No. The referee saved you because the referee is thinking about your future. You’re still young and we want you to be able to fight again someday.”