Logan Paul-Floyd Mayweather: Where Will The Farcical Celebrity Boxing Craze End?

The pair fought eight rounds on Sunday, but it is damaging to the sweet science
10:59, 07 Jun 2021

No judges.

No official record of the fight.

No winner.

Unless of course, you are Floyd Mayweather, who called his bout against YouTuber Logan Paul a “legalised bank robbery” after earning a reported £35 million for 24 minutes’ work.

That is almost £1.5m per round, with the 44-year-old dominating the bout itself as well as the finances involved. Not that Paul will be complaining too much, with the YouTube star believed to have made up to £15m for an evening’s work that he called “one of the greatest moments in my life”.

In the aftermath of the Miami match-up, rumours have picked up pace that the contracts the two fighters signed didn’t allow for a knockout, with footage of Mayweather seemingly holding Paul up after a vicious right hand doing nothing to dispel such talk.

Or perhaps Mayweather simply knows his audience and opted against an early finish as he knows a lucrative rematch wouldn’t carry as much interest if the Hard Rock Stadium event had ended before the final bell.

Mayweather, as expected, landed the cleaner punches and controlled the vast majority of the bout, but after the final bell he admitted that he was surprised by the quality of his 26-year-old opponent.

“He’s better than I thought he was,” Mayweather claimed. “You’ve got to realise I'm not 21 anymore, but it's good to move around with these young guys, test my skills just to have some fun.” In several post-bout interviews, Mayweather labelled the fight as just that – “fun”.

THE EIGHT-ROUND 'SPECTACLE' DID NOTHING FOR THE CAUSE OF UP-AND-COMING BOXERS
THE EIGHT-ROUND 'SPECTACLE' DID NOTHING FOR THE CAUSE OF UP-AND-COMING BOXERS

While the five-weight world champion is having fun, his former rival Manny Pacquiao is preparing for yet another fight at the top of the sport, this time against WBC and IBF welterweight king Errol Spence Jr. In fact, since the much-anticipated Mayweather v Pacquiao spectacle of 2015, the Filipino has beaten the likes of Jessie Vargas, Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman.

In that time, Mayweather has fought a UFC fighter in Conor McGregor, a kickboxer in Tenshin Nasukawa and now a YouTube influencer.

While ‘Money’ is out having fun and making his millions, there are young boxers at the very start of their careers inside the ring who are struggling to find fights and, as a result, having to walk away from the sport.

With a 50-0 record and a career which spanned over 20 years, Mayweather has earned the right to fight whoever he wants and earn as much as he possibly can.

However, with Logan’s brother Jake gearing up for another money-spinning fight against former UFC champion Tyron Woodley, the sweet science of boxing is being diluted with exhibition fights that the majority of hardcore boxing fans simply aren’t interested in.

It would be inaccurate to suggest that the current influx of YouTube stars trying their hand inside the squared circle are the first to do so. Muhammad Ali took on a Japanese wrestler in 1976, George Foreman fought five men in one night after defeat in the Rumble in the Jungle, and Jack Dempsey schooled Clarence ‘Cowboy’ Luttrell in 1940 in a Boxer vs Wrestler exhibition.

However, such events were few and far between, with the integrity of boxing remaining intact with the best fighting the best on a regular basis.

With Paul admitting that he was “happy to have made it out” after his fight with Mayweather, nights like this couldn’t be further removed from the best fighting the best. With the finances involved for these exhibitions, particularly with Mayweather involved, it’s difficult to envisage them fading into the background any time soon.

For the sake of boxing, let’s hope we’re wrong.

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