Floyd Mayweather Jr is “coming out of retirement” to face YouTuber Logan Paul in an exhibition match on Saturday February 20.
The 43-year-old ring great announced the bout on Sunday evening to his tens of millions of social media followers. And enraged most boxing experts and fans in the process.
‘Money’ retired from the professional ranks with a stellar 50-0 record after stopping UFC superstar Conor McGregor in their controversial clash in Las Vegas in 2017.
That fight was met with howls of derision from hardcore boxing fans - McGregor had never fought professionally in a boxing ring before that night.
Paul vs KSI 2 delivered big
In recent months there have been rumblings that Floyd would meet Logan Paul, who sold out Staples Center in Los Angeles and delivered a huge pay-per-view audience for his rematch with fellow YouTuber KSI in November 2019.
Paul lost on points that night, but it was clear those sort of events would not be disappearing any time soon. And now the expected clash with Mayweather seemingly will happen.
The move to announce the bout comes hot on the heels of Mike Tyson’s ring return at the age of 54 last month. He fought fellow modern legend Roy Jones Jr (51) in an eight-round exhibition in Los Angeles.
According to social video platform Triller, which held rights to the fight, Tyson vs Jones Jr delivered an astonishing 1.6million PPV buys at $49.99 each. It was also noteworthy that Logan’s brother, Jake Paul, appeared on the undercard as he knocked out former NBA star Nate Robinson.
To give those eye-popping numbers some context, Tyson Fury’s rematch with Deontay Wilder rematch last year - with the might of ESPN and Fox fully behind it from a promotional perspective - delivered only 850,000 U.S buys.
Mayweather Jr vs Paul is the brainchild of Fanmio - a platform which claims to offer fans the chance to meet their favourite celebrities through personal video experiences.
The pay-per-view will initially cost $24.99 for the first 1million sign-ups (clearly there are big expectations here). Then it is $39.99 up to December 29, when it ratchets up $59.99. Anybody buying the fight between February 11 and fight night will have to shell out $69.99.
Another red flag for boxing fans
There will be no surprise if this promotion does deliver huge numbers given the star power that Mayweather and Paul both possess.
But it is likely to be scoffed at once again by the boxing fanbase. Paul after all has fought once professionally in his life.
There is also the likely huge weight differential to consider. Floyd weighed 149.5lbs for his defeat of McGregor. Paul meanwhile tipped the scales some 50lbs heavier at 199.4lbs for his clash with KSI.
So there you have it. The greatest fighter of our era vs a YouTube sensation with zero boxing track record. And welterweight vs cruiserweight. What a world....