Mayweather is worth hundreds of millions, with an undefeated professional boxing record of 50-0 and multiple world titles to his name. Paul doesn’t have a belt to his name, but a lot of YouTube views – almost six billion and still. His story about the band is short; he has lost his only professional fight against another YouTuber.
Previously we have seen YouTubers fight against YouTubers; we’ve seen boxers fight MMA stars; we even saw Paul’s brother Jake – also a famous YouTuber – fight a former MMA fighter and a former NBA player and win both times.
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But on June 6, the worlds of professional boxing and entertainment will come together in the ring.
The money men must be rubbing their hands cheerfully. When Jake stole Paul Mayweather’s hat before his brother’s press conference and the pair got caught up in a fight, social media and news outlets exploded with videos and photos of Mayweather looking furious.
And at the latest Miami Beach conference before Sunday’s fight, Mayweather emphasized that Paul is stepping into the unknown.
“He’s counting on his height, he’s counting on his reach. So we’ll see. I’ve trained a little here and there, not every day. But you don’t have to.”
“Boxing is a business and his business is show business,” said Silver, author of “The Arc of Boxing: The Rise and Decline of the Sweet Science.”
“Boxing is show business. And the only positive thing I can say is that these people make money. I feel like guys, great fighters like Archie Moore, Sugar Ray Robinson, Willie Pep, should be turning in their graves.
“[Current fighters] earned more in one fight than those fighters, great fighters, made in their entire professional boxing career.
“But let’s be realistic. This is not boxing. Boxing as I knew it is dead,” he added.
Positive and Negative Points
Exhibition fights are not uncommon for boxing. There have now been infamous spectacles. Even the great Ali fought wrestler Antonio Inoki in 1976, an event Silver remembers as “very disappointing.”
Silver says he doesn’t begrudge anyone to make money where they can. However, he says the idea that Jake Paul — the “Kim Kardashian of boxing,” according to Silver — attracts so much from a professional match who has only fought professionally twice is reflective of today’s society’s “junk culture”.
In the opposite corner, Michelle Joy Phelps – boxing presenter and founder of ‘Behind The Gloves’ – believes there are positives to be drawn from these fights.
“Money is being made on such a massive scale and people are tuning in and the viewers are there,” Phelps told CNN. “How does it die? Maybe we have more boxing politics, which makes it more frustrating.
“I don’t think it’s going to die at all, but politics has certainly made things more complicated, which is why people are more agitated or irritated by boxing. But when the events they want happen, the whole world watches.”
Filling a gap
One thing that has disillusioned boxing fans in recent years is how difficult it has become for boxing organizations and promoters to hold high-profile fights.
There are four major committees in professional boxing and 17 weight classes. Previously there were only eight weight classes, but more were added over the years.
Each committee awards its own weight class world champion, sometimes with several champions at the same time. Boxing magazine ‘The Ring’ also awards its own world champions.
The recent Anthony Joshua-Tyson Fury back and forth has disappointed many, while a possible match between Terence Crawford and Errol Spence seems unlikely at the moment.
When Mayweather fought Manny Pacquiao in 2015, the idea of the fight had cropped up five years earlier, and because it took so long to set up, both fighters were arguably past their prime when they finally stepped into the ring, Silver says.
According to Silver, the reason for the difficulty in organizing these showpieces is because each boxing committee has its own champion, meaning that each boxing committee is reluctant to put a fighter in the ring against the best opponents for fear of losing.
That’s where these exhibition fights have filled the void.
“If boxing was then what it is today, Marvin Hagler probably never would have fought Tommy Hearns, or if they fought, maybe after they were both out of their prime,” said Silver, who also wrote “The Night the Referee Hit Back” and “Stars in the Ring: Jewish Champions in Boxing’s Golden Age”.
“We probably wouldn’t have seen Alexis Arguello against Aaron Pryor. But we probably wouldn’t have seen Sugar Ray Leonard against Roberto Duran. These are fights that made boxing history and made boxing what it was. And chances are we will. that may never have seen Frazier vs Ali It’s the utmost greed [that] has caught up with the sport and the lack of respect for the fan.”
‘Don’t tell me this is boxing’
During his nearly 20-year boxing career, Mayweather was nicknamed “Money.” After retiring for the second time in 2015, he has fought and defeated UFC star Conor McGregor and undefeated kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa, earning huge paydays.
The game against McGregor was a bit of a turning point as people realized how much money these events could bring in.
For that one fight, Mayweather reportedly made about $275 million, while McGregor took away $85 million, according to Forbes.
While the quality of the boxing has left many boxing fans frustrated in the long run, one of the other criticisms of admitting inexperienced boxers is their safety.
“Your brain wasn’t meant to be shaken by blows to the head,” says Silver.
Professional boxers have been trained for years to move their head and feet to avoid heavy blows to the head as much as possible, so if you’re new to that, knockouts, heavy blows to the head and concussions are more common.
“The idea is to hit your opponent in the head,” Phelps said. “It’s not a competition to beat arms. A blow to the head can concussion anyone.
“And if you’re not properly trained to move your head to avoid punches, most people just stand and trade and all you see is just a dirty fight of people throwing as many haymakers in the face as possible. .”
While the first Paul-KSI fight was amateurish and thus required head guards, subsequent fights were professional meaning they had the same conditions as the professionals – no head guards and 12 three minute rounds.
However, for Sunday’s fight, the Florida State Boxing Commission (FSBC) has confirmed to CNN that it will be considered an exhibition game because it has not been approved by the body. The FSBC also confirmed that it will not provide judges for the event, but a referee. Both fighters will use 12-ounce gloves and there will be eight three-minute rounds in total.
This has resulted in a number of early round knockdowns, most notably Jake Paul’s second round knockout of former NBA player Nate Robinson, photos of which went viral on social media afterwards.
The security risks of allowing these untrained fighters to go hammer and tongs has left a section of boxing fans, including Phelps, questioning whether that’s a good idea or whether stricter measures should be taken to protect the fighters. .
And for the upcoming fight on June 6, Silver thinks there’s plenty of risk involved when it comes to getting the two to meet in the ring.
“If this 200-pound Logan Paul, if Mayweather gets distracted or something and he pulls away and hits Mayweather on the head… there’s a danger,” he said.
“If [Mayweather] really in shape, he would stop Logan Paul in a lap. I don’t care if he weighs more than 50 pounds; he is still close enough to his fighting days to hurt this man. And if he’s really throwing punches, even if he weighs about 156 pounds or whatever he weighs for that fight, then he’s a former professional fighter.
“And if he grabs this guy with shots, it won’t be easy to drop him because he’s a big guy. So if this is a legit fight, he’s going to have to punch — unless Logan Paul has a glass jaw — he’ll have to hit him on the head many times, a few body shots, to take him down.”
So, after the meteoric rise of these lucrative quasi boxing matches, what’s the staying power, the endgame? According to Silver, it will come down to money. “If the fans are disgusted and say, ‘We are not interested, we are not going to cut corners on this’, then the parameters will change.
“But I don’t see it changing … it depends on the economy.”
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