'Not a real fight': Floyd Mayweather's damning swipe at Logan Paul

·5-min read
Pictured here, Floyd Mayweather and Logan Paul face off before their Miami fight.
Floyd Mayweather and Logan Paul face off before their exhibition bout in Miami. Pic: Getty

Floyd Mayweather has invited ridicule ahead of his latest return to the boxing ring but the unbeaten American couldn't care less.

The dubious prospect of Mayweather, the 44-year-old former welterweight world champion who retired with an unblemished record of 50-0, taking on a 26-year-old internet star with just two bouts to his name, has been greeted with disdain in much of the sporting world.

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Sunday's bizarre exhibition bout against Logan Paul, with no judges ringside, is scheduled for eight rounds at Miami's Hard Rock Stadium.

Despite having no judges or official winner, a knockout is allowed during the fight which has already seen tickets being offered for well into the five figures on the online resale market StubHub.

For the brash-talking Mayweather it could amount to little more than an easy pay-day, with the 44-year-old delivering a withering assessment of his opponent's chances.

"I'm fighting a YouTuber who thinks he's a real fighter and I'm getting crazy money for it," Mayweather told reporters at Versace Mansion in Miami Beach, adding he had already made $US30 million ($A39 million) in the lead up to the fight.

"This is not a real fight for me. It's a real fight for him."

A defiant Paul, 26, told reporters that he could hold his own against Mayweather, who boasts a pristine 50-0 record in his 25 years of professional boxing.

Seen here, Logan Paul works out in Miami prior to his exhibition bout against Floyd Mayweather.
Logan Paul works out at the 5th St. Gym prior to his June 6th exhibition boxing match against Floyd Mayweather. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

"There's a moment that goes through every fighter's mind, everyone we spar, everyone Jake's beaten, when we hit them and they realise 'Oh, he might not just do YouTube,'" said Paul.

"I think we're going to see Floyd's eyes light up the first time I hit him."

Promoters are hoping the event will generate pay-per-view sales in the two million range, delivering a lucrative payday for the two combatants.

Jake Paul, Logan's younger brother, reportedly brought in 1.3 million views and earned around US$75 million (AUD $98m) for his fight in April against mixed martial artist Ben Askren, so it's plausible to imagine those numbers could be trumped given Mayweather's appeal and the social media popularity of his opponent.

Mayweather is aware his first foray into the ring since another exhibition fight in Japan on New Year's Eve in 2018 - which ended in the opening round - has left the boxing world divided.

The undefeated legend hit back at critics who've said he is tarnishing not just the sport, but his own legacy.

"I don't really worry about the (pay-per-view) numbers," Mayweather told AFP. 

"I am just here to have fun and entertain.

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I live for Floyd Mayweather and I choose what I want to do. If I want to go out, have some fun and make $50, $60, $70, $100 million, let me do it. I am not bothering anyone. I am not out robbing or killing. I am doing what I want to do.

"I retired but I didn't retire from entertaining and making money."

Mayweather broke the mould in 2017 when he came out of retirement to beat UFC star Conor McGregor in a money-spinning crossover event in Las Vegas which triggered the recent trend of boxers searching for opponents outside of the sport.

Mayweather in a 'no-win situation'

Logan Paul's first fight against fellow YouTube star KSI in August 2018 generated 1.3 million buys worldwide and made the Manchester event the largest non-professional boxing bout of all time.

The Youtuber-turned pugilist says he never imagined in his wildest dreams that he'd ever be fighting someone with the boxing pedigree of Mayweather.

"This whole thing is just so crazy, we have already defied the odds," Paul said.

"When my manager asked if I wanted to fight Floyd Mayweather I just laughed.

"I am here to achieve the impossible."

For Mayweather, however, it's just another payday and a return to the limelight.

"You know what's crazy? I am in a no-win situation," he said.

"If I knock him out in the first round they will say it wasn't worth it. And then if it carries on for a few rounds, they will say it's not worth it.

"But it's always worth it for me. I want to give the people what they want to see and have some fun.

"We chose Sunday because we wanted to do something different - events like the Super Bowl and the Grammys are always on a Sunday. I always like to take chances.

"I am fighting a Youtuber and getting paid crazy money for it. That's not bad for someone who has retired."

with agencies

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