Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Logan Paul: Boxing bastardization continues at a steady pace

Mayweather is worth hundreds of millions, with an unbeaten professional boxing record of 50-0 and several world title belts to his name. Paul doesn’t have a belt under his belt, but lots of views on YouTube – nearly six billion and more. His gang history is short; he lost his only professional fight against another YouTuber.

Previously, we’ve seen YouTubers fight YouTubers; we’ve seen boxers fight MMA stars; we even saw Paul’s brother Jake – also a famous YouTuber – fight a veteran MMA fighter and a former NBA player and win both times.

But on June 6, the worlds of professional boxing and entertainment will collide in the ring.

Money men must rub their hands with joy. When Jake Paul stole Mayweather’s hat ahead of his brother’s press conference and the couple got tangled up in a melee, social media and media exploded with videos and photos of Mayweather looking angry.

Mayweather and Jake Paul face off.
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And during the last new conference in Miami Beach ahead of Sunday’s fight, Mayweather pointed out that Paul is heading into the unknown.

“There is a difference between YouTube boxing and elite boxing – you will see the difference,” Mayweather told Sky Sports.

“He’s betting on his size, he’s on his reach. So we’ll see. I’ve practiced a bit, here and there, not every day. But I don’t have to.”

For author and boxing historian Mike Silver, who has been a fan of the sport since 1959 and has watched greats like Sonny Liston, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and Sugar Ray Robinson in action, the rise of these lucrative fights signals him that the sport he grew up on is “dead”.

“Boxing is a business and its business is show business,” said Silver, author of “The Arc of Boxing: The Rise and Decline of the Sweet Science”.

“Boxing is show business. And the only good thing I can say is that these people are making money. I feel like guys, great fighters like Archie Moore, Sugar Ray Robinson , Willie Pep, they must be turning in their graves.

“[Current fighters] does more in a fight than these fighters, great fighters, done in their entire professional boxing career.

“But let’s be realistic. It’s not boxing. Boxing as I knew it is dead,” he added.

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Mayweather and Logan Paul face off.

Positive and negative

Exhibition bouts are not unusual for boxing. There have now been infamous shows. Even the great Ali fought wrestler Antonio Inoki in 1976, an event Silver recalls as “very disappointing.”

Ever since Paul and UK YouTuber KSI faced off in the first professional boxing match between YouTubers, this offshoot of the fighting game has grown rapidly.
According to Jake Paul, his first-round knockout of UFC veteran Ben Askren in April generated 1.5 million pay-per-view purchases. And each costing $ 50, the fight generated $ 75 million, although doubts have been cast on those numbers.
Inoki in action against Muhammad Ali in an exhibition match.

Silver says he doesn’t blame anyone for making money where he can. However, he says the idea of ​​Jake Paul – the “boxing Kim Kardashian,” according to Silver – attracting so much from a professional fight having fought only twice professionally before, reflects the current “unwanted culture” of the. society today.

In the opposite corner, Michelle Joy Phelps – boxing presenter and founder of “Behind The Gloves” – thinks there are some positives that can be learned from these fights.

“The money is being made on such a large scale and people are going online and the audience is there,” Phelps told CNN. “How is it dying? Maybe we have more boxing politics, which makes it more frustrating.

“I don’t think it’s dying at all, but politics has definitely made it more complicated, which is why people are more agitated or annoyed with boxing. But when things happen the way they wish it, the whole world is watching. “

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Paul tries to hit KSI in their fight at Staples Center.

Fill a gap

One thing that has disappointed boxing fans in recent years is how difficult it has become for boxing organizations and promoters to lead high profile fights.

There are four major commissions in professional boxing and 17 weight divisions. Previously there had only been eight weight classes, but more have been added over the years.

Each commission crowns its own world champion for a weight division, sometimes having several champions at the same time. Boxing magazine ‘The Ring’ also crowns its own world champions.

The recent Anthony Joshua-Tyson Fury round trip disappointed many, while a potential Terence Crawford fight against Errol Spence seems unlikely at this time.

When Mayweather fought Manny Pacquiao in 2015, the idea of ​​the fight had surfaced five years ago and since it took so long to settle in, both fighters were arguably past their prime when they finally stepped into the ring. , said Silver.

Mayweather kisses Manny Pacquiao after defeating him in their welterweight unification fight.

According to Silver, the reason for the difficulty in hosting these flagship events is that each boxing commission has its own champion, which means each is reluctant to put a fighter in the ring against the best opponents for fear of losing.

This is where these exhibition fights filled the void.

“If boxing had been practiced as it is today, Marvin Hagler probably would never have fought Tommy Hearns, or if they fought, perhaps after the two were out of their prime.” said Silver, who also wrote “The Night the Referee Hit Back” and “Stars in the Ring: Jewish Champions in the Golden Age of Boxing.”

“We probably would never have seen Alexis Arguello vs. Aaron Pryor. But we probably wouldn’t have seen Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Roberto Duran. These are fights that have made boxing history and make boxing what it is. she was. And there’s a good chance we’ve never seen Frazier against Ali. It’s total greed. [that] has gone beyond sports and disrespecting the fan. “

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Muhammad Ali takes a hit from Joe Frazier in their invented heavyweight game

“Don’t tell me it’s boxing”

During his nearly 20-year boxing career, Mayweather was given the nickname “Money”. After retiring for the second time in 2015, he fought and beat UFC star Conor McGregor and undefeated kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa, earning him huge paydays.

The McGregor fight was kind of a turning point as people realized the large sums of money these events could bring in.

For that fight, Mayweather would have made around $ 275 million, while McGregor took home $ 85 million, according to Forbes.

While the quality of the boxing has left many long-term boxing fans feeling frustrated, one of the other criticisms of allowing the inexperienced to enter the ring is their safety.

“Your brain wasn’t supposed to be shaken by punches to the head,” says Silver.

Professional boxers have been trained over the years to move their heads and feet to avoid harsh blows to the head as much as possible. So when you don’t have the experience, knockouts, hard hits to the head, and concussions become more common.

Jake Paul stands over Ben Askren after knocking down the MMA veteran.

“The idea is to hit your opponent in the head,” said Phelps. “This is not an arm slap contest. Getting hit in the head can cause a concussion to anyone.

“And when you’re not properly trained to move your head to avoid punches, most people just stand and trade and all you see is just a bad guy. fight of people throwing as many mowers in the face as possible. “

While the first Paul-KSI fight was amateur and therefore required helmets, the following fights were professional, meaning they had the same conditions as the pros – no helmets and 12 three-minute rounds.

For Sunday’s fight, the Florida State Boxing Commission (FSBC) confirmed to CNN that it will be considered an exhibition match because it is not sanctioned by the body. The FSBC has also confirmed that it is not providing judges for the event, but is providing a referee. Both fighters use 12-ounce gloves and there will be a total of eight three-minute rounds.

This resulted in a few turnovers early in the round, including Jake Paul’s second-round knockout of former NBA player Nate Robinson, whose photos then went viral on social media.

The security risks of allowing these untrained fighters to tackle the hammer and tongs has a section of boxing fans, which includes Phelps, wondering if this is a good idea or if tougher measures should be taken. put in place to protect the combatants.

Nate Robinson suffers a knockout against Jake Paul.

And for the next fight on June 6, Silver thinks there is a lot of risk in letting the two meet in the ring.

“If that 200-plus-pound Logan Paul, if Mayweather gets distracted or something and shoots and hits Mayweather in the head… there’s a danger there,” he said.

“Yes [Mayweather] is really in good shape, he would stop Logan Paul in a round. I don’t care if he weighs 50 pounds; he’s still close enough to his fighting days to hurt this guy. And if he really does punch, even if he weighs around 156 pounds or whatever he weighs for this fight, he’s a professional veteran.

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“And if he hits this guy with punches, it won’t be easy to let him down because he’s a big guy. So if it’s a legitimate fight, he’ll have to hit – unless Logan Paul doesn’t ‘have a glass jaw – he’s going to have to hit him several times on the head, a few punches in the body, to make him fall. “

So, after the rapid rise of these lucrative quasi-boxing matches, what is the resistance, the end of the game? According to Silver, it will be money. “If the fans are squeamish and say, ‘We’re not interested, we’re not going to pay for this,’ then the settings will change.

“But I don’t see it changing… it depends on the economy.”

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