In what is fast becoming the new normal, a crossover contest between boxer and Social Media personality. With one of the greatest of all time, Floyd Mayweather, taking on Logan Paul in what is classed as an exhibition.
Just weeks ago, Sky passed up on showcasing Britain’s first male undisputed four belt world champion, Josh Taylor, and instead, their Box Office arm have decided to charge UK viewers £16.95 for the privilege of watching Mayweather v Paul.
We will likely be told how much of an intriguing battle this will be, but in truth, it’s a money making exercise for both combatants.
Mayweather (50,0, KO27), in the eyes of many, retired in September 2015 after a glittering career that garnered him world titles in five different weight classes, with a routine win on the scorecards against Andre Berto, where he retained his WBC, WBA (Super) and Ring Magazine belts.
Temptation took over as Floyd came out of his retirement in August 2017 after UFC star Conor McGregor called ‘Money’ Mayweather out for a boxing match that took place in Las Vegas.
The hype was a well-oiled machine, with press tours and exchanged verbals leading the casual boxing observer to give McGregor a real shot at beating the self-professed ‘TBE’.
In truth, it was no contest at all, with Mayweather pretty much doing as he pleased, carrying McGregor into the tenth round before closing the show.
Mayweather banked a reported $100 million for his efforts.
On New Years’ Eve of the same year, Floyd earned a cool reported $9 million to travel to Japan for a three round exhibition with undefeated kickboxer, Tenshin Nasukawa.
In a farcical less than a round of action, Mayweather dropped Nasukawa three times before the Japanese fighter’s corner waved the bout off.
Since then, there have been whispers of a return which have never come to fruition, and now, the Las Vegas-based 44-year-old wakes from his boxing slumber to attempt to put the brash Paul in his place.
Paul (0-1) is described as; a YouTuber, internet personality, actor and podcaster. But, these days Social Media sells and with a multitude of followers and subscribers, he finds himself in the ring with one of the best ever to lace up a pair of gloves.
The 26-year-old has only fought professionally once, after drawing a white-collar style six rounder against fellow internet sensation KSI in August 2018. The pair rematched under professional rules in November 2019, and KSI took the spoils via split decision, also over six.
Mayweather v Paul was first announced at the back end of 2020 to take place in February 2021, but was then pushed back to this Saturday.
Their press conference contained a ‘flashpoint’ when the pair clashed after, Logan’s brother, Jake Paul took Mayweather’s baseball cap, but confrontation sells, and this was clearly designed to sell tickets and pay-per-view buys.
Early indications suggest the exhibition will take place over six, three minute rounds, and is likely to be at a catchweight.
Prediction: This should play out pretty routinely, with Paul likely to go for broke early, only to be picked off by Mayweather, who can force Logan’s corner to remove him from battle well inside the distance.
The undercard took a major hit just a week out, as WBA Light Heavyweight champion, Jean Pascal, returned failed tests for a multitude of banned substances, meaning his mooted defence against Badou Jack in a rematch of their thrilling December 2019 original meeting is now cancelled.
Pascal maintains his innocence, and Jack (23-3-3, KO13) will now take on a new opponent to be announced.
Former unified Super Welterweight champion, Jarrett Hurd (24-1, KO16) appears on the bill, and the man from Maryland gets a ten rounder against Luis Arias (18-2-1, KO9), who is winless in his last three contests, and drops down from Middleweight.
Hurd lost his WBA (Super), IBF and IBO crowns in May 2019, dropped and outscored by Julian Williams, but returned in January 2020 to take a ten round win against Francisco Santana.
Arias was last out in August 2019, knocked down twice in a points loss to Luke Keeler. Hurd should secure a clear points win here.
Puerto Rican banger, Jean Carlos Torres (18-0, KO14) should add another early victim to his list, against Zack Kuhn (10-7-1, KO5), in a Super Lightweight contest set for eight.
Kuhn has been stopped six times in seven defeats, so Torres can secure an early finish in this one.
TMT team member, Adrian Benton (4-0, KO3), can make it five straight wins, but may need the cards to see off Pedro Angel Cruz (1-0, KO1) over four at Lightweight.
Another member of the team is 18-year-old Micky Scala (2-0, KO1), and the Arizona Super Welterweight can defeat Adam Ramirez (1-1, KO1) inside their scheduled four frames.
Mayweather protege, Dorian Mark Khan Junior makes his pro debut, and the Featherweight should halt Jonathan Gray (0-3) early, as Gray has lost all three of his bouts inside the distance.
Finally, another man under Mayweather’s wing is Jalil Major Hackett, and he makes his debut against fellow first-timer, Angelo Diaz, at Welterweight. Hackett can take a clear win on the scorecards.