The latest combat sports spectacle didn’t end how most people expected. But undefeated former boxing champ Floyd Mayweather declared victory despite going the distance with YouTube star Logan Paul.
With knockouts allowed and 10-ounce gloves in play, Mayweather was expected to toy with the 0-1 Paul before putting him away. But he pointed the finger at Paul for the inconclusive end to the eight-round match.
“I wanted to give the people a show, and he was fighting to survive, as you guys could see,” Mayweather said on Sunday after the pay-per-view event at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. “Every time he would punch, he would clinch. He was the bigger guy, and a little awkward. But his background was in wrestling, so he was good at tying me up. A guy that came in over 200 and some pounds. I came in at 155, but no excuses. I had fun tonight.”
Mayweather was light years better than Paul as a technical boxer, and he landed several punishing shots to the head and body. But he also took more than a few, and he said fans shouldn’t have expected him to steamroll his opponent. Given a possible 40-plus pound disadvantage in weight, there was only so much he could do.
Paul and his younger brother, Jake Paul, appeared happy to take the moral victory on Sunday night. Paul could be overheard on the Showtime pay-per-view broadcast declaring his older brother was beating Mayweather, a claim that prompted one commentator to tell him to shut up.
Mayweather refused to cast his performance as anything other than a win.
“He’s entitled to feel how he wants to feel,” Mayweather said about Jake Paul, who declared on Twitter that the boxing legend was now 50-1. “A guy that’s retired like myself trains a few days a week. I’m not training every day for this. For me to be retired, be a grandfather, and to come have some fun with a guy that’s in his 20s, when the money comes, we’ll see who’s the real winner. Because at the end of the day, I’m going into the Hall of Fame for boxing, and I have nothing to prove.
“If they’re happy with holding eight rounds, dancing and grappling for eight rounds, congratulations,” he added later. “One thing about me, I don’t go back and forth, because we went out there and did what we had to do, and that’s what it is.”
Both Mayweather and Paul are likely to win big when the PPV buyrates are calculated, though provider Showtime suffered mightily to keep up with demand as technical difficulties booted off some viewers.
Asked whether he could have finished Paul at any point, Mayweather indicated the YouTube star’s physical gifts prevented him from doing so.
“He can grapple,” Mayweather said. “He’s good at holding. He’s very good at holding. ... When a guy over 200 pounds is holding you, I’m trying my best, even though I’ve got a lot of experience, it’s hard to get a heavyweight off you. I fight at welterweight, fighting a heavyweight.”
Paul is likely to parlay Sunday’s result into future entertainment projects as his younger brother pursues a professional boxing career and this summer takes on ex-UFC champ Tyron Woodley.
Mayweather, meanwhile, said “probably not” to taking another exhibition fight.
“There’s nothing really I could do,” he said. “As you guys could see, he was putting his leg on the rope. He was fatigued. He’s a great grappler. But I’ve been in this sport for so long, and tonight was letting the people see that I’m able to come out at my age, at 44, and sell out 30,000 and still do crazy numbers to where I can make Showtime crash. So I’m truly blessed, and I’m not here to bash anyone. Of course, at my age, I’m not going to perform like when I was 19. I’m not supposed to. It’s all about growth and aging.
“Is my hair going to be all black forever? Absolutely not. When I get old, it’s going to turn all grey. I understand that. That’s a part of life. Am I going to be able to fight like I fought Diego Corrales and Arturo Gatti? Absolutely not, and I understand that.”
Well, that happened. Logan Paul actually goes the distance with Floyd Mayweather.
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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Don’t know what this is? Ask MMA Fighting’s Jose Youngs.
You said it.
♂️— Canelo Alvarez (@Canelo) June 7, 2021
Teddy saw it coming.
There are a few theories on this.
It's crazy to think that Logan Paul (0-1) just made $20M on a boxing exhibition.— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) June 7, 2021
WHAT ARE WE DOING WRONG?
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
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