Retired boxing legend Floyd Mayweather and YouTuber Logan Paul went the full 8 rounds in their surreal showdown last night at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida. While the controversial influencer held his own against the undefeated boxing legend, most commentators scored a clear victory for Mayweather in this exhibition bout.
This is just the latest example in a rapidly growing history of YouTuber’s using boxing to add to their social media engagement.
Although there were no judges to declare a winner from last night’s clash between Floyd Mayweather and Logan Paul, the domination was clear.
Paul wasted no time as he dished out a burst of jabs and hooks right out of the gate, thrashing the retired legend with punches left and right. Most of them failed to connect; however, he had some solid hits.
In true “Money” Mayweather fashion, he took the hits and strategically moved across the ring during the early rounds — slowly tiring Paul and waiting patiently for an opening.
Mayweather’s demolition started in the 3rd round, dishing out efficient punches and capitalizing on a worn down Paul.
From there on out, it was just utter dominance from Mayweather. He capped off the night with 43 landed punches out of the total 107 (40%), topping Paul’s 28 hits out of 217 total punches (13%).
After the final bell, the fighters shared a moment as they embraced each other in front of the fired up crowd. There was nothing but respect shared between the two during the post-fight press conference.
“Wow! That was crazy for me … I knew that if I went the distance, I won technically — but that wasn’t the game plan. If you’re going up against a legend like Floyd, you just kind of let him dictate the game plan for you and work around it,“ Paul said when asked to describe his mindset throughout the fight. He also said that the fight was the best moment of his life and that he’s ready for any upcoming fights.
Mayweather was equally respectful, commending Paul for going the distance and for his exceptional grappling throughout the fight.
“It was fun! You know, I always want to give the people a show … He was better than I thought and I commend him for lasting 8 rounds, going the distance means it was a win for him. [But,] at the end of the day, I’m retired, I train a couple times a week, I’m a grandfather, and I’m going to the boxing hall-of-fame — so we’ll see who the real winner is,” he said during the post-fight press conference.
The night capped off with Paul teasing a potential rematch saying, “Floyd Mayweather vs Logan Paul 2?”
Leading up to the Paul-Mayweather match-up, several YouTubers and influencers have recently gotten involved in different fields such as boxing.
No longer is the sport solely for the super athletic pugilists who have trained since they were children to enter the profession. There is an increasing interest in celebrity bouts for personalities who already have a big social following, but limited experience in the ring.
Joe Weller and Theo Baker, two friends who decided to box each other for a YouTube video, are considered the pioneers of this movement.
Weller, a 25-year-old English YouTuber, streamer, was born and raised in Brighton, along the southern coast of England. He has a degree in Media Study and Film Making. He uploaded his first YouTube video in 2012, making a name for himself doing pranks, skits, and live commentary on the popular video game series, FIFA.
His opponent, 25-year-old Eastbourne, England local, Theo Baker started his YouTube career in 2014. His most famous uploads were soccer-based skits, vlogs, and Fortnite gameplay. Although he had no boxing experience, he played amateur-level soccer for Newhaven, Seaford, and Crystal Palace’s development teams.
In an interview with The Sportsman, Weller explained how the event came about. “So this started with myself and Theo Baker, he’s my friend, and basically we decided: Let’s do a boxing match for a YouTube video in some dodgy gym,’” he said.
The Weller-Baker match, which took place in an underground gym in London, in August of 2017, paved the way for various historical confrontations, all of which were led by YouTubers.
The KSI vs Logan Paul and the recently concluded Jake Paul vs Nate Robinson fights — both of which were headlined by the Paul brothers — have been the stand-out events.
Westlake, Ohio natives Jake Joseph Paul and Logan Alexander Paul have been two of the hottest names in the boxing industry over the past few years. The brothers started off their social media career by making videos on Vine in 2013. They quickly gained an immense following, 5.3 million and 9.4 million followers respectively, as fans were hooked on their skits and prank videos. While the brothers continued to attract more and more viewers, they needed a bigger platform to showcase their talents. After a few months, they eventually found a home on YouTube and they transitioned in October 2013. They have recently made headlines when they came to blows with household names from various fields such as Logan vs KSI (YouTube) in August 2018, Jake vs Nate Robinson (Basketball) in November 2020, and the recently concluded Jake vs Ben Askren (MMA) in April 2021.
Their most notable fights reeled in exceptional numbers in views and pay-per-view (PPV) buys. The 1st Logan vs KSI match was reportedly the most viewed amateur boxing event of all time, racking up over 1 million pay-per-view buys. In addition to that, the Jake Paul vs Ben Askren fight, along with the Tyson-Jones Jr. fight, accumulated a total of 1 million PPV buys, for an estimated total of $50 million PPV revenue.
However, with the recent rise of celebrity boxing matches, several professional boxers and critics have voiced their opinions on whether or not these events are beneficial for the sport.
Joseph “JoJo” Pedroza Diaz Jr., an American professional boxer who held the IBF super featherweight title from January 2020 to February 2021, tweeted his reaction to the Jake Paul vs Nate Robinson fight minutes after the final bell. “Can we stop these bs YouTube fights? Shit embarrassing and disrespectful to the sport. Boxing isn’t a sport to play with. These guys gonna get hurt!”, he said.
American boxing trainer and fight commentator, Theodore A. “Teddy” Atlas Jr., also made a few statements regarding this recent movement. “I don’t care about athletes or not, stop allowing guys who don’t know how to fight into the ring!!… Why have a California Commission if they allow this??”, he tweeted.
However, some fans and critics are in favor of these matches as they provide them with an unconventional style of entertainment from the traditional brawls of old.
Spencer “The Omen” Oliver, an English former professional boxer, said in an interview that these fights will change the future of boxing — especially the ones involving the Paul brothers. “Love it or not, this is the world today and you have to embrace it or you fall into the category of being a dinosaur,” he stated.
Whether it’s beneficial for the sport or not, it’s safe to say that these “celebrity boxers”, especially the Paul brothers, make up a huge portion of views in present-day boxing.
In an interview with Sky Sports, Jake Paul was asked if he would fight his brother Logan, he looked at their mom who was beside him, considered the question, and thought about the clicks, the views, the money, and the business. He nodded his head.
“Why not? I want my kids to drive a Mercedes Benz, not a Prius.”
Image Credit: Fanmio