Floyd Mayweather-Logan Paul piques interest, but outcome comes up short - South Florida Sun Sentinel - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
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Floyd Mayweather-Logan Paul piques interest, but outcome comes up short

You may hate you gave any of attention to it. How the social media posts filled your timelines, and you could not turn away from the promotion even if you tried.

Just the thought of Floyd Mayweather, one of the greatest athletes of our generation, and Logan Paul, an internet personality who made himself famous on YouTube and Instagram, fighting in a boxing exhibition sounds ridiculous at face value.

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Still, the event drew enough hype and buzz to make viewers spend $49.95 to watch it live or even more to buy a ticket into the second-ever boxing match at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday night.

Well, Mayweather surely looked every bit of a seasoned professional and champion compared to the novice Paul. But lack of a true outcome left viewers and fans in attendance underwhelmed.

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“I had fun. I’m not 21 anymore. it’s good to move around with these young guys to test my skills,” Mayweather said after the fight. “He’s a great, young fighter. He’s better than I thought he was.”

Added Paul: “Floyd Mayweather it’s an honor.... It was one of the greatest honors of my life.”

Mayweather used his speed and quickness to dodge punches and changed his levels to make himself smaller against Paul. And when Mayweather found his moments, the left and right hooks connected.

Paul, on the other hand, tried to use his 6-inch, 35-pound weight difference to tire Mayweather when he was tired himself. After the fourth round, Paul was holding onto the ropes, but he later caught a second wind that allowed him to finish.

The fight went the distance, a full eight rounds with no official winner announced, although Mayweather easily looked like the better fighter. The Florida State Boxing Commission did not sanction the fight, so no judges kept scorecards, and no official winner was declared.

And after the fight, Paul was already angling for a potential sequel – well, at least, lightheartedly.

“Floyd Mayweather, Logan Paul 2?” Paul said. “Maybe, I’ll get better.”

Mayweather, one of boxing’s all-time greats with a record-setting 50-0 career clip and 27 career knockouts, had not been in a true boxing match since he beat MMA fighter Conor McGregor in 2017 to surpass Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 record.

Still, the sheer difference in height and weight – Mayweather is 5-8 and 155 pounds, while Paul is 6-2 and weighed in at 189.5 pounds – provided the intrigue that Paul could at least have somewhat of an advantage over one of boxing’s greatest.

It’s part of the reason legal sports betting on the fight was not permitted. However, offshore sites had the opportunity to cash in.

Mayweather was a -714 favorite, according to Betfair, meeting a $71.40 bet on him would net $10, while Paul was a +400 underdog (bet $10 to win $40). No one won.

SportsBetting.ag also offered pro bets like the first to bleed (Paul was -700, Mayweather was +400), which fighter would be knocked down first (Paul -600, Mayweather +350), if it would go the eight-round distance (-350 for no, +225 for yes), and which round either fighter would win.

While the bout did go eight rounds, neither of the other outcomes happened. Paul’s left eye was swollen, but no blood was drawn, and neither fighter was knocked down.

Paul, who is 26 years old, was a high school football player and wrestler before rising to fame on social media and dipping his toes into the boxing world. He still carries a 0-1 record after losing a split decision to another YouTube guy named KSI in 2019.

Paul’s brother, Jake, may have a better boxing pedigree at this point simply based on his 3-0 record although his fights came against fellow YouTuber AnEsonGib, a knockout of former NBA player Nate Robinson and former MMA fighter Ben Askren.

Still, the exposure for Paul to many who may not have seen his rise on social media could pay off more for his endeavors as a social media influencer in the long run.

“Give us some time to acclimate to this sport,” Logan Paul says of him and his brother in boxing. “At the end of the day, we’re just getting started. I’m 26 and he’s 24. ... Let us get good.”

Mayweather, who on the other hand may be past his physical prime in professional boxing at age 44, has learned he can cash in handsomely from fighting non-professionals.

Before the fight, he claimed his net worth is $1.2 billion with the opportunity to earn $100 million for the Paul exhibition. Official numbers will likely be released after the spectacle.

“I retired from boxing, but I didn’t retire from entertainment or from making money,” he said before the fight.

After the bout, Mayweather reiterated he’s “never coming back to boxing,” while adding he perfected the art of “legalized bank robbery” because people still pay to see the sport’s most popular figure.

The event was the second boxing event at Hard Rock Stadium’s 34-year history, following WBC and WBA super-middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez’s defense over Turkey’s Avni Yildirim on Feb. 27.

The event included an undercard featuring former NFL wide receiver Chad ‘OchoCinco’ Johnson getting knocked down in the fourth round in his boxing debut against amateur fighter Brian Maxwell. The fight also was not sanctioned, and a winner was not declared.

Middleweight Luis ‘Cuba’ Arias (18-2-1) beat “Swift” Jarrett Hurd (24-1-0) in a split decision after 10 rounds, and light heavyweight Badou Jack (24-3-3) knocked out Dervin Colina (15-0) in the fourth round.

Junior welterweight contender Jean Carlos Torres (18-0, 15 KOs) knocked out Zack Kuhn (10-8-1, 5 KOs) in the second round; 18-year-old Dorian Mark Khan Jr. won his debut, knocking out Jonathan Gray (0-4); 18-year-old Jalil “Major” Hackett had a first-round knockout on Angelo Diaz in their debuts.

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