DUBLIN • Irish media hailed Conor McGregor for a gritty display yesterday following his 10th-round loss to Floyd Mayweather in their Las Vegas super-fight.
The pundits focused on the mixed martial arts star's endurance and bravery in managing to stay upright for 10 rounds with an opponent of Mayweather's calibre, particularly as it was his first professional bout in a boxing ring.
"This was, after all the hype and trash talk, a man entering a new sport and taking on the best and while it was a comfortable win for Mayweather, McGregor has been lauded for the effort he put in," wrote The Irish Independent.
Online sports website Joe also talked up McGregor's ability to hang in, having been clearly outclassed after the first three rounds.
"There was to be no almighty shock, but McGregor earned plenty of respect (as well as a helluva lot of money) and can walk away from the encounter with his head held high," it said.
Other crumbs of comfort were to be found in tabloid newspapers, who knew their readership would be firmly backing the former plumber from the wrong side of the tracks and has enjoyed a meteoric rise to stardom.
"Conor McGregor landed more punches on Floyd Mayweather than Manny Pacquiao - in two fewer rounds," noted the Irish Sunday Mirror.