Retired 44 year old undefeated boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. got back in the ring Saturday night in an exhibition fight at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. Being that this was an exhibition his undefeated record of 50-0 was not on the line but his dignity was. The foil? A winless Logan Paul, who had one professional fight under his belt and isn’t even the best fighter in his own family.
This fight was originally scheduled to take place back on February 20th of this year but was postponed when pre-order Pay Per Views lagged.
Insert younger and more popular brother Jake, have a public press conference and stage some premeditated drama in the form of Jake stealing a baseball cap from Floyd’s head which causes a melee.
Suddenly you have some public interest and plenty of press to go along with it.
Never underestimate the gullibility of the American public.
Back in November of last year when Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. got together for an eight round exhibition, the public turned out in the form of 1.6 million PPV buys. The fight, which was shown on streaming app Triller, was a big success and what helped fuel that success was the addition of YouTuber turned professional boxer Jake Paul on the undercard. This was not lost on Mayweather, who is always thinking dollars with the path of least resistance.
Jake Paul can fight a little, how much we don’t know yet and won’t until he has to go past the first round against someone who fights back. What we do know is that he packs a big punch and is clearly the better of the two brothers.
Floyd, seeing the popularity of the siblings, chose to scrimmage the lesser of the two for what he referred to as, “A legal bank robbery” and maybe, just maybe, he will look to fight the more sought-after brother in the future for another paycheck.
After all, the storyline and foundation is already in place.
As for the actual fight or lack thereof, there isn’t much to report. Paul, who had a significant size advantage at 6’2 and 189 1/2 pounds over the 5’8,155 pound Mayweather, never used that natural advantage. Instead it was the much smaller Mayweather who pressed the action coming forward all night on the constantly retreating bigger man. Mayweather was very economical in his punch output and defensively responsible as always, easily slipping, dipping, dodging and blocking the wide telegraphed punches of novice Logan Paul. Every now and then Floyd would grace us with a clean punch, which had little effect on his opponent, who looked to hold and clinch almost as often as he threw a meaningful punch.
The same redundant pattern would play out round after mirror image round. By the end of the seventh, the fans in attendance were booing at the lack of action they had been duped into shelling out their money for. At least the paying fans in attendance didn’t have to suffer through the awful commentating that those foolish enough to order the PPV had to listen to. Rather than having professional sportscasters analyzing the action, Showtime decided to hire a couple of clowns known as “Desus and Mero” as guest commentators.
The network knew the core audience for this event would not be hardcore boxing fans but instead millenials and casuals that find the bulk of their amusement in viewing TikTok and Instagram videos with voice overs from people as desperate for attention as the ones who make these videos. Desus Nice and The Kid Mero blended perfectly with this fiasco because the circus wouldn’t be the circus without a couple of clowns. One almost can’t blame these two for what passes in 2021 as verbal slapstick comedy because that’s all they are capable of adding with next to zero knowledge of the sport or what’s taking place in the ring. Who is to blame is Showtime boxing, which went from being a leader in the industry to another follower jumping on the latest trend with the product that Triller and its commentating team brought to the table.
After eight uneventful rounds with next to no highlights, the two combatants hugged and called it a day with no winner declared as there were no judges. Had it been scored, Mayweather clearly outclassed his inexperienced opponent but most people including myself expected him to put away the YouTuber long before the fight reached its allotted time limit.
Unlike the Tyson-Jones matchup which was a battle between two older legends that left most fans satisfied, this exhibition left the bitter taste of disappointment in the mouth of most that watched.
After the fight Logan Paul (pictured hugging Mayweather, with tongue out, above, in photo by Amanda Westcott for Showtime) was elated to have gone the distance in what amounted to a losing effort. Thrilled just to be standing at the end, which is exactly why guys like him are the poster child for the “everyone gets a trophy” generation.
Mayweather in turn stated, “When I see there’s a chance for me to do a heist. A quick heist. At the end of the day, I’m the smart man. My bank account is looking better and better each and every day.” People who contributed to putting money in the pockets of these two ENTERTAINERS shouldn’t complain after getting hosed, they should have cased the place better beforehand.