Floyd Mayweather vs Logan Paul - or, the boxing match that wasn't

There was no official winner after the Floyd Mayweather vs Logan Paul boxing bout - except for their collective bank balances.

Floyd Mayweather vs Logan Paul disappointed everyone except the two involved in the bout. (Image: Twitter)
By Shayne Dias | Jun 8, 2021 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

What does it say about the sport of boxing that an exhibition bout between a retired great and a YouTube sensation – and non-fighter – is so widely talked about and discussed? No, this is not one of those ‘boxing is dead’ write-ups – rather an attempt to put things in perspective. Floyd Mayweather vs Logan Paul was many things – exhibition match, sideshow spectacle, money-grab, a potential trainwreck you can’t help but watch. But a boxing match? Let’s not go that far.

The ‘match’ – that word being used in the loosest sense possible – ended after the stipulated 8 rounds, with no winner being declared because scores were not kept.

Boos rained down on both men as the bout came to a close. Which begs the question – what exactly were fans expecting?

Legitimacy claims galore

Social media was awash with claims from fans afterwards that the bout was fixed, or at the very least boring. UFC president Dana White said afterwards that this ‘wasn’t a f***ing boxing match’.

Boxing, it must be noted, has a long history of fights being fixed, thanks to promoters having ties with mobsters and the like, most of whom controlled betting. However, this was different.

Mayweather is not in his prime anymore but unlike Paul, he has the experience to not let a slight lack of speed matter. And he still packs one hell of a punch. Paul, by contrast, had neither the speed nor skill to use his size.

It must be remembered that Mayweather weighed 40 pounds less than Paul. Yet most punches Paul attempted to land were easily ducked. Not that anyone who’s watched Mayweather would be surprised at that.

In his pomp, the man nicknamed ‘Money’ could duck punches for days while waiting to land the killer blow. Just ask Manny Pacquiao. Or any of his other 50 victims.

But what made fans dub the bout ‘dubious’ was that Mayweather was toying with Paul. A well-landed jab to the jaw would spell the end for Paul – and, at one point, almost did.

Yet Paul landed straight on Mayweather and eventually popped up. The more unkind social media users said this was proof of a fix, because Mayweather seemingly helped him back up.

Some dubbed it a ‘hug-fest’ due to the number of times Paul collapsed onto Mayweather, with memes aplenty seen across social media.

It is hard to tell whether the two had decided beforehand to take it easy. But one thing was for certain – Mayweather seemed to want the match to go the distance. And why wouldn’t he?

Floyd Mayweather vs Logan Paul sets future template for former

Boxing experts and fans can debate Mayweather’s GOAT status till the cows come home. What cannot be denied, however, is his business acumen.

Mayweather knows where the money is. He ended his professional career with a match against UFC star Conor McGregor because he knew that’s what fans wanted to see.

Similarly, he knows the appeal in an exhibition bout against him lies in fans seeing whether some scrub can go the distance. That is exactly what happened here with Paul.

Mayweather and boxing fans were disappointed that he didn’t clock Paul in the jaw and knock him out for real. But that was never going to happen now, was it?

And while no one can be sure of what the future holds, it would be reasonable to assume that is what will happen in future bouts involving Mayweather as well.

Cynics might ask why would fans bother to cough up money for what Mayweather himself described as a ‘legalised bank robbery’. Again, Dana White summed it up best while speaking to UFC Arabia.

“Like I said before, there’s always going to be a market for that kind of stuff. There’s always going to be people that are willing to put down 50 dollars to watch that kind of stuff.

“I’m not trying to s**t on these other guys. Listen, if you’ve got people that are stupid enough to spend that kind of money, you deserve to take those dummies’ money. They deserve it.

“The guys who went out and fought and got you to pay 50 dollars, they deserve your money. You’re stupid.”

It’s hard to disagree with that.