With Mayweather-Paul Bonanza, Lines Continue to Blur in Combat Sports

For a moment on Sunday night, as Logan Paul stood in front of Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a boxing ring, the best boxers of this generation, television cameras and microphones captured his astonishment.

“It’s crazy,” said social media star Paul, as his name was introduced against Mayweather ahead of his eight-round exhibition at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., which will enter the Boxing Hall of Fame later this month. will enter. .

Contrary to most expert predictions, 26-year-old Paul lasted the whole fight without falling on the canvas. No winner was declared as there were no judges. But Paul later boasted that he had done something that many would have thought was impossible.

“I don’t want anyone to tell me anything is impossible again,” Paul said in his post-war interview. “The fact that I’m here with one of the greatest boxers of all time proves that the odds are beatable.

“I’m going home thinking, ‘Did Floyd let me live?’ He’s one of the goats, and in many ways he controls the game to a tee. That’s what makes him great. It’s an honor to be in the ring with him.”

The spectacle saw Mayweather, 44, win all 50 of his professional bouts against Paul, who earned the fight not through any meaningful boxing experience, but through a large social media following. Boxing purists viewed the event as a circus. But it garnered massive interest, even overwhelming Showtime’s ability to stream the broadcast at a selling price of $49.99 per subscriber.

Bonanza is associated with an ongoing theme for fighting games right now – the debate over how to elevate the constant fights into the mainstream consciousness. By doing such shows, the publicity shows that they are ready to please the masses. And it may become the most commonly used strategy as the games and their stars develop.

Mayweather retired in 2017, after sending Ultimate Fighting Championship star boxing Conor McGregor into another fight professionally for the first time, which seemed impossible at first but materialized due to fan interest. UFC president Dana White initially shrugged off the idea of ​​putting a mixed martial arts fighter into a regulated boxing match and mixing the two together. But he slowly adapted, and soon sat next to McGregor while he was trash-talking at news conferences during an international media tour.

Mayweather began boxing at the age of 19 and needed only two years to win his first title. Since then, he has become the sport’s biggest draw, amassing a massive net worth as one of the highest paid athletes in the world. He claims that he has earned $1.2 billion in his career.

He came to stardom Mayweather, nicknamed Money, rose to the pinnacle of boxing by giving any event a potential blockbuster title. Through Paul, opportunity presented itself again.

Mayweather sees Paul as an easy prey, and sees the ensuing payday as a “legitimate bank robbery”. The fact is the result won’t count against his official record, and it makes sense for him to pull out of retirement for a quick night of work, he said.

“For me to retire, to be a grandfather, and to have some fun with a guy in his 20s, when the money comes, we’ll see who the real winner is,” Mayweather told reporters. “At the end of the day, I’m going to the Hall of Fame for boxing. I have nothing to prove.

“When I come and do an exhibition or come out and box and have some fun, I do it because I want to do it, not because I have to.”

But for the sake of its consistency, boxing can no longer cling to Mayweather and his personality. He acknowledged that his performance on Sunday would not have been on par with his earlier performance in his career, and dismissed the notion of returning to a professional fight (he also downplayed the prospect of a future exhibition).

In his absence, Paul and his younger brother, Jake, are arriving, who have seized the opportunity to perform in an unorthodox manner. Logan Paul, who lost in a split decision in his only professional fight two years ago, said he wants to continue training seriously as a boxer.

In recent feuds, 24-year-old Jake has beaten former NBA player Nate Robinson and mixed martial artist Ben Askren. He has since signed a multiple-fight deal with Showtime and has announced his next opponent, former UFC champion Tyrone Woodley.

Other fighters have also raised their hands. Adrian Broner, a veteran boxer with more than 30 professional bouts, said on Sunday that he would oust the two brothers. On Sunday, Logan Paul said he anticipates he’ll have a bunch of suitors.

Paul said, “I’ll have prizefights.” “I’m sure there’s a list on Twitter, people are saying so. I’ll pick one.”

The pattern of vibrating established norms does not appear to be fading away anytime soon. UFC President White has reportedly blocked a potentially lucrative boxing match between UFC legend Georges Saint-Pierre and boxer Oscar de la Hoya. Saint-Pierre, 40, said it was a . Would “dream come true” To fight 48-year-old De La Hoya, one of his favorite boxers.

Logan Paul, who wrestled in high school and repeatedly won against Mayweather, also suggested taking part in mixed martial arts fighting because of his wrestling background. He said that he and his brother are being held to a higher standard because of their social media success, but they hope to meet that level as they adjust to becoming athletes.

And as the lines continue to blur within the combat sports community, he said he is happy to be at the forefront.

“Whenever I can entertain, I’m happy,” said Paul. “I just like to entertain and make people happy with the things I love.”

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