MIAMI: 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.
Sunday’s bizarre exhibition bout against Logan Paul, with no judges ringside, is scheduled for eight rounds at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium.
Promoters are hoping the event will generate pay-per-view sales in the two million range, delivering a lucrative payday for its protagonists.
Jake Paul, Logan’s younger brother, reportedly brought in 1.3 million views and earned around $75 million 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 meanwhile 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 purists cold.
Yet the American brushes off the criticism of those who believe he is tarnishing his legacy and the sport.