After months of hype and promise, the Logan Paul-Floyd Mayweather fight left many feeling cheated.
Over the last few years, there has been a ton of discourse surrounding boxing and whether or not celebrity matches have ruined the sanctity of the sport. This largely wasn't a problem until 2018, when Logan and Jake Paul headlined a massive boxing event where they fought other YouTube stars. Logan fought against KSI while Jake fought KSI's brother, Deji. At the time, fans ridiculed the idea of this event as they felt like it was an unnecessary spectacle that was purely for the purposes of making money, with no regard for the history of boxing.
Despite all of these criticisms, the event turned out to be a massive success and it allowed Jake and Logan to continue their respective boxing careers. Since that time, numerous celebrities have attempted to get into the ring, much to the chagrin of boxing purists. The most egregious example is what is about to go down next week as Lamar Odom will face off against Aaron Carter. This is a fight that should not be allowed to happen as there is a big size difference between the two. Regardless, this is an event that promises to bring in a lot of money, which at this point, is all that really matters to the promoters.
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As of right now, the sport of boxing is facing a conundrum. In order to make money and sell fights, the two combatants need to have some sort of popularity. Compared to the 80s and 90s, boxing has decreased in popularity which has, in turn, made some of the best fighters less recognizable. With this in mind, some promoters have turned to novelty celebrity matches in order to make their money. The best example of this was last night, when Logan Paul got to face off against Floyd Mayweather, who is arguably the greatest boxer of all time. This fight was announced all the way back in 2020 and was supposed to go down in February, however, it was pushed back to eventually land on June 6th, 2021, as a direct result of COVID-19.
This delay was the best thing to ever happen to the fight as it gave both fighters more time to promote the event, and build drama and suspense. For months, fans got to contemplate the idea of Logan upsetting Mayweather, while Paul haters got to fantasize about what Logan would look like with his face buried in the canvas. Numerous press conferences were held prior to the fight, including the infamous one in Miami where Jake stole the hat right off of Mayweather's head. As scripted and as contrived as it may have been, this was a key moment in helping to build up hype for the match. With the Paul brothers successfully getting under Mayweather's skin, there was now a newfound interest in the match and some of the antics that could go down in the ring. Jake was even banned from attending the fight, although this decision was overturned, as Showtime felt like his presence would lead to some added drama.
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On social media, Logan and Floyd talked a big game, as they both made bold claims about what they would do to their opponent. Logan continuously told interviewers that he would knock Floyd out and that his size was too much to handle. Meanwhile, Floyd was adamant that he would teach Logan a lesson that he would never forget. For months, we were promised two distinct narratives: the greatest beatdown in boxing history, or the greatest upset in sports history. As many of you are probably aware by now, we got neither. Instead, we got a sloppy display of boxing that insulted the intelligence of everyone who took the time out of their evening to tune in.
From the get-go, it was obvious that Mayweather had no intention of actually trying. The first round was filled with horrific punches from Logan, who seemingly forgot all of his fundamentals at the start of the bell. Mayweather played defense, while Logan played the kind of offense you would expect from a 10-year-old who just discovered Wii Sports for the first time. As the rounds went on, Mayweather started to throw more punches but it was clear that he had no real intention of knocking Logan out. With Logan's poor defense, Mayweather had plenty of opportunities to end the fight, but he simply refused to. Instead, we got eight boring rounds where Mayweather and Paul seemed way more interested in the checks they were about to cash in later this week.
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This brings us to the main problem of the fight. In a year where everyone's bag had been messed up due to the pandemic, it feels as though this fight was more about doing the bare minimum for a quick buck, than it ever was about putting on a show for people. As soon as Floyd came out in an OnlyFans hat and shorts littered with Fashion Nova logos, we probably should have known that's what was going to happen.
Perhaps the worst part of this whole ordeal is the fact that multiple people had issues with Showtime's feed of the fight. Those who paid $50 for the Pay Per View reported various service interruptions, and there were even moments throughout the fight where the screen just went black. Having a bad fight is one thing, but taking people's money and not giving them the proper service to even be able to see it, is another problem in and of itself. Mayweather is expected to make 50 percent of the Pay Per View earnings while Logan is set to receive 10 percent. This could result in tens of millions of dollars for both of these men, and when a large majority of PPV subscribers couldn't even get access, it's not a good look for the parties involved. Thankfully, Showtime is taking ownership of what happened and is already issuing refunds to those who want them. Regardless, this whole event felt like the Fyre Festival of boxing.
One could make the argument that the onus should be on the fans for being naive enough to think that this was ever going to be a good fight. Quite frankly, that's valid, however, this certainly could have been a good fight had both men put in a little more effort. Instead, they showed up, secured the bag, and left us all hanging. Now, Floyd is thinking of fighting against Jake, and if that match is anything like what we saw last night, there could very well be a revolt in the arena.