Everyone had their opinions formed on the Floyd Mayweather vs Logan Paul match by the third round. A sopping wet Logan draped himself on “Money” every time he got in arm’s length of him. “Boxing is dead!” “Floyd looks terrible!” “I want my money back!”. Complaints were abound but they were all extremely misplaced. The “fight” wasn’t a barn burner and wasn’t supposed to be to begin with.
Let’s set the premise, 44 year old man goes against 26 year old man 4 inches taller and 30 pounds heavier than him. Sure, add in the 44 year old man is one of the greatest boxers of all time and the 26 year old is a YouTuber who was a really good wrestler in high school for context but still, this is an exhibition match. Floyd said himself very candidly after the match it was “a glorified sparring session.” To expect Floyd to put bigger than normal gloves and turn back the clock to 2006 so he could look like “Pretty Boy Floyd” like he did against Diego Corrales, Arturo Gatti, and Ricky Hatton is asking a little much against someone who’s done little more than just exercise a few days a week for the past 6 years. And for his “legacy”, Floyd couldn’t care less. “Your kids can’t eat legacy… I’m about creating generational wealth.” Floyd fought a who’s who in boxing from the 90’s to the 2010’s beating the generation before him (Corrales, Baldomir, Castillo, De La Hoya), his generation (Cotto, Judah, Pacquiao, Marquez), and the next generation (Canelo, Guerrero) providing all of that he should be allowed to use his likeness to generate a few more millions advertising for FashionNova, EthereumMax, and OnlyFans because, why not? It’s not like this is the only time a legend put on a freak exhibition match.
Look none further than heavyweight great Muhammad Ali for a boxing legend participating in a pointless match in the twilight of his career. In 1976 Ali went up against pro wrestler Antonio Inoki in a match where Inoki laid on his back and kicked Ali’s legs until they nearly needed to be amputated, there was no declared winner. Fast forward a few more years and in 1979 Ali went up against NFL linebacker Lyle Alzado in an 8 round exhibition boxing match, there was no winner. If you thought Ali was done there you’d be wrong. In 1983 Muhammad Ali had another exhibition boxing match against NHL player Dave Semenko. The uneventful 3 round exhibition ended with no winner. Ali was one of the most famous people on the face of the Earth and more famous than boxing itself. His legacy is still intact and boxing certainly did not die since then.
So let’s be done with this “bad for boxing” nonsense. Did the fight suck? Yes. But was it nice to see Floyd do another press run and see him sling some leather? Yes again. If you think boxing is dead, look no further than what Canelo Alvarez, Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, Errol Spence, and Manny Pacquiao have been putting up. Boxing is still alive and well and maybe these exhibition matches bring more eyes to keep the sport thriving for a long time.
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