Floyd Mayweather Jr. did not show up in Miami as a retired champion who wanted to remember his old glories but as a showman. But he failed because the show was in debt. His opponent, the YouTuber Logan Paul, fought like a worthy amateur who thinks that boxing is a matter of posing a good physique and throwing hard punches: he wasted all his energy in the first two rounds and put his tongue on the canvas in the other six. The Mayweather vs Paul fight was a sad spectacle for those who purchased tickets and pay-per-view passes.
“I had fun,” Mayweather blurted out after his fight with the YouTuber, but he looked irritated in fact, not because his opponent put him in trouble, but because of the opposite: he had to carry him throughout the fight to get to the end so that the exhibition would not be so shameless.
However, at the press conference he did say something more honest: “When it comes to legalized bank robbing, I’m the best,” He is right.
The fight was a drag, even the fight against Conor McGregor had better technical quality details and much more morbid. In this exhibition, besides Mayweather “risking” improbable ridicule against an internet star, there was nothing to motivate the masses or generate high enough expectations to expect a memorable show.
Paul took the initiative, going on a rampage against the former champion, who took his usual conservative stance. Very energetic, but uncoordinated, the YouTuber was throwing nonsense blows to Mayweather’s body, who with a simple cover-up suffered virtually no damage. If he landed four punches in the eight rounds, frankly it was a lot.
After the second round, with a notoriously shot Paul, Mayweather almost obliged by taking the initiative to punish his opponent. It only took a couple of jabs for the man to stagger Paul’s legs, who looked like he wouldn’t even make it to the fourth round.
There was mercy. Mayweather decided to call it a day and let Logan breathe, who made an immeasurable effort not to fall to the canvas under his own weight. Aesthetically, the YouTuber was hideous: hunched over, lowering his back to his hips and searching for air like a fish out of water. So he sought to tangle with Mayweather as much as he could, who also put up no resistance, as the idea always seemed to be to go all the way.
Fresh, almost without sweating, Mayweather threw almost no punches from the fifth to the eighth round. The public, already irritated, at the end of the fight, booed underhandedly. A logical reaction, but superfluous, as it was not a remarkable outburst, but rather insignificant. In the end, the best of the fight was, again, away from the ring.
Boxing lost in Mayweather vs Paul
There are those who stubbornly say Floyd Mayweather lost today. That couldn’t be more false. Mayweather won millions for fighting a few rounds without hardly demanding himself. Nor will he lose the prestige he achieved during his brilliant career. The most he will receive is some sleepy criticism on the morning of June 7, nothing important to him.
On the other hand, today’s big winner is none other than the almost irreverent Logan Paul (he still needs to become controversial), who showed his best version out of the ring, because he looked really bad on top of it. Exhausted. No technique. Excessively slow. At the mercy of an opponent who looked at him with pity. Anyway, it doesn’t matter, Paul will be able to say that he fought and held on for 8 rounds with Floyd Mayweather Jr. He’ll sell it to his fans, to the critics and to the market. He will make far more money than any of us could ever dream of after tonight.
Mind you, Paul won’t come anywhere close to the boxing Valhalla, not even in his wildest dreams. As the fantastic footballer Pulga Rodriguez said recently: “Glory cannot be bought”. He is right, transcendence is earned.
Now, in every story there is a loser, so you may ask: “And who lost, then?”, well, here the only one who lost was boxing. A sport that continues to lose prestige at the cost of crass showmanship and easy money.
Judge for yourself what we witnessed in Miami: a 44-year-old ex-champion dodging and fighting with the air, with no one in the ring taking physical risks, dialogues between the protagonists laughing and knowing that there is a happy ending for them.
Boxing, as a sporting event, is an ode to masculinity, aesthetics, courage and intelligence. Boxers are honorable fighters who seek to defeat their opponent for the sense of transcendence and the value of honor that this signifies.
None of that could be appreciated today. What did happen was that business took advantage, once again, of the glorious history of boxing to discredit it.
I am very young and could not enjoy the greatest in the history of boxing, but you don’t have to be an expert to realize that the quality of boxing is on the floor, like the physical condition of Logan Paul.
No matter how much money they make now, sooner or later it will no longer pay off, because what keeps this business alive is quality, not smoke and mirrors. Deteriorating legends does not help keep the sacred fire alive.
After the Mayweather vs Paul show, there is only one thing left to ask: is boxing the most vilified sport in history? If it is not, then it is close because of the promoters, organizers, and agents who are making it happen by leaps and bounds.