A few days ago, a news item surfaced online about Floyd Mayweather (50W-0L-0D-27KOs) ending his retirement status and a rumored comeback fight with YouTube star Logan Paul (0W-1L-0D). Of course, if such a fight does materialize, it will be an exhibition fight, as there’s no way Paul can compete at Mayweather’s level in a sport that Mayweather dominates. Indeed, 2020 is full of surprises and this particular news is just one of them.
But even if it will be just an exhibition fight, it still won’t make much sense to watch a fight where one of the guys obviously doesn’t have the slightest chance of winning against the other. One can only say, “What for?” What can we expect to see in a matchup between one who hasn’t lost a fight in his 50-win boxing career, and the other guy who hasn’t stepped into the ring in a professional fight since his only loss to fellow YouTuber KSI in their fight back in 2019?
But anything can happen in boxing and we don’t discount the fact that Paul can somehow pull it off and surprise us all, even with the slightest chance he might get. One of the things we may be concerned about, though, is that it can hurt boxing. It can serve as a precursor for those who want to shortcut their way to boxing stardom.
It can also be interpreted as a way to discredit those hardworking fighters who spend blood, sweat, and tears to be on top of their games. Mayweather can spoil the face of boxing he represents best if he chooses to fight a nobody in boxing when there are many deserving ones waiting to be matched against him. Boxing has already taken a hit when Mayweather took on UFC star Conor MacGregor.
We know how that fight ended. The UFC star with no professional boxing record entering the fight never had a chance against a well-oiled boxing champion in Mayweather. That fight was successful from a commercial point of view, but in the long run, it can backfire on boxing as a sport. When boxing becomes highly commercialized and the quality of its fights also deteriorates, these can cause boxing fans to lose faith in the sport and may lead them to seek other contact sports that may live up to their expectations.
This rumored fight of Mayweather against Paul, if it ever materializes, may not be good for boxing. Instead, Mayweather needs to choose quality opponents, even for exhibition fights, to produce quality fights. Boxing, as a sport, right now needs a revival so that it can return to its glory days (not that today’s era is the worst, but that it suffers a setback due to frustrating matchmaking). And the least Mayweather can do, along with other champions like him, is produce as many quality fights as possible.