Does Boxing Benefit In Any Way From The Floyd Mayweather v Logan Paul “Exhibition”?
Former multiple-time world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr and YouTube media personality Logan Paul fought their much-hyped exhibition on June 6 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida. During the lead-up, many anticipated that Mayweather would make this a quick night. However, the “fight” was marred by excessive holding from Paul who seemed gassed by the fourth round. The action was sloppy throughout, and there were noticeable boos from the crowd at the final bell.
PROBLEMS FROM THE GET-GO
This event aired live on SHOWTIME PPV. There was a late rush of people who put down their money to watch on either Showtime.com or the SHOWTIME app. Unfortunately, that caused a malfunction with the SHOWTIME app. As a result, plenty of people were not able to witness the contest. SHOWTIME is now offering refunds to those who paid but were unable to watch on their streaming platforms.
The complaints were not limited to those in attendance or those trying to watch via PPV. For those who took time out to watch, their reaction was a collective thumbs down. Many felt hosed and screwed out of their money because the fight itself was boring and sloppy.
IT’S NOT HIS FAULT
During the post-fight press conference, Mayweather was defensive when asked about the criticism.
“Y’all getting upset? . . . I get the hate on both sides. If you don’t like me, don’t write about me. If you guys don’t want to see me do any exhibitions, then don’t come, don’t watch.
I’ll come on record and tell y’all. When it comes to legalized bank robbing, I’m the best. I changed my name from “Pretty Boy” Floyd to “Money” Mayweather, I started making money. You got to speak things into existence.
Y’all can write the stories that y’all want to write. . . . I don’t care if y’all write bad stories. At the end of the day, I will always have the last laugh.”
In that aspect, Mayweather is correct. If you are willing to spend money to see him in the ring in any capacity, that is not on him. Those who paid for what they saw in Miami and were disappointed, you should know better. It was not a licensed, sanctioned fight. Instead, this was more of a circus than a competitive exhibition. To expect anything more is being foolhardy and naïve.
THE DUALITY OF BOXING FANS
There is a dichotomy when it comes to followers of the Sweet Science. It is almost a tug-of-war between the younger and older, more traditional fans. With the infusion of social media and fight streams, there has been a definite paradigm shift over the last few years.
Millennial fans bring not only a fusion of new energy but a view of the sport that often runs outside the box. They made up the bulk of those who showed the greatest interest in Mayweather v Paul.
By contrast, boxing hardcore heads were having none of it. They have had their issues with “Money” for years. They believe he is addicted to attention, fame, and the almighty dollar. It was that segment that Mayweather was low-key responding to during his rant.
Ultimately, what does all of this mean for boxing’s sake? It all depends on your perspective. One theory is this will expand the brand and open the sport up for a new audience. The alternative view is the “new audience” is flaky, selective, and not dependable for the long term.
The ramifications of Floyd Mayweather v Logan Paul will have a lasting impact on boxing for both the good and the bad. This debate has no ending within sight.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.