Floyd Mayweather fight rocked by 'embarrassing' scenes in return to boxing

The retired champion took on Aaron Chalmers in his first-ever fight in the UK, however not many were there to watch it.

Floyd Mayweather, pictured here fighting Aaron Chalmers in a virtually empty O2 Arena.
Floyd Mayweather fought Aaron Chalmers in a virtually empty O2 Arena. Image: Getty/Twitter

Floyd Mayweather has become the laughing stock of the boxing world after 'embarrassing' scenes during his fight against Aaron Chalmers on Saturday (Sunday AEDT). The retired champion returned to the ring for his first-ever fight in the UK, taking on the former Geordie Shore TV star.

Mayweather was initially supposed to take on Liam Harrison at the O2 Arena before his opponent pulled out. Chalmers stepped in at the last minute so the fight could go ahead, but evidently the match-up wasn't one fans were keen to watch.

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Saturday's undercard was delayed by 30 minutes when the O2 Arena was virtually empty when it was supposed to kick off. Organisers delayed the start time in the hope that more fans would file in by the time Mayweather and Chalmers entered the ring, but it didn't appear to work.

Organisers had struggled to sell tickets for the event in the lead-up, with thousands of empty seats on display at the 20,000-capacity arena. Promoters even resorted to selling tickets at 20 per cent off, but to no avail.

Photos posted to social media showed the usually packed bars and concourse areas almost empty, with the O2 Arena resembling a ghost town as the undercard got underway. Sunni Upal of The Sun wrote: “The top tier is completely covered in black tarp and the concourses have zero fans in.

“Pretty embarrassing this for Floyd. There’s nobody here.

"Fans were offered a 20 per cent discount on tickets for tonight’s event. Organisers have been tight-lipped on ticket sales but they’ve still been on sale leading up to the event.”

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Mayweather dominated Chalmers for eight rounds, dancing around the ring and trash-talking his opponent. He was even see sitting on top of the ropes in between rounds, highlighting the farcical nature of the exhibition bout.

The 46-year-old Mayweather retired from professional boxing with a perfect 50-0 record. He has since returned to the ring for a number of exhibition bouts, but the quality of the fights usually leaves fans disappointed.

“If I was taking brutal punishment, I couldn’t do it anymore,” he said at a news conference on Wednesday in London. “My career was great because of my defence.

"My faculties were important to me. I retired from the sport and I didn’t let the sport retire me.”

Chalmers is a former reality TV star in the UK with experience in MMA. He made his boxing debut last June, outpointing Alexander Zeledon in four rounds.

Aaron Chalmers, pictured here weighing in before his fight against Floyd Mayweather.
Aaron Chalmers weighs in before his fight against Floyd Mayweather. (Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA Images via Getty Images) (PA Images via Getty Images)

“I’ve seen everything but you can never overlook a guy or underestimate a guy,” Mayweather said about Chalmers. “He believes in his skills and talent. My job is to entertain and do what I do. I don’t have to have fast hand or feet. The proof is in pudding.

"With all these fighters, I want them to give it 100 per cent. We’re here to entertain. The US has a big fight market, it’s huge. I want him to be at his best and give it his all.”

Mayweather also discussed the possibility of taking on Jake Paul, who is in action against Tyson Fury's brother Tommy on Sunday (Monday AEDT). “We spoke to Jake Paul before and we can only do it an exhibition because of the weight disadvantage,” Mayweather said.

“I’m not chasing it anymore. I have accomplished everything I could in boxing. We have so many young fighters in boxing today. Give them a chance to go out there so they can shine."

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