Floyd Mayweather is back in action. No, the former five-division champion will not be taking part in an official boxing match on Sunday night, but the retired pound-for-pound king will take part in an exhibition bout. And he may have met his match in terms of marketing potential. Mayweather will take on YouTube and social media star Logan Paul in an eight-round contest from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Gardens, Florida, atop a four-fight card set to air live on Showtime PPV (8 p.m. ET).
Mayweather has not fought officially since a 2017 TKO over UFC star Conor McGregor to run his record to a perfect 50-0. He has, however, participated in another exhibition bout against the much smaller Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in 2019, where he scored a first-round knockout after three knockdowns.
Paul, meanwhile, has only officially fought once, losing a split decision to another YouTube star in KSI. He has hired some big-name training partners and coaches to take the sport seriously and try to give the much smaller champion a run for his money on Sunday night.
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Mayweather and his team, for their part, haven’t even considered the possibility of “losing” this contest, be it by stoppage or in the public’s eye after eight rounds. Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe said that losing the Paul would be “unthinkable.”
“Can you imagine if something went wrong in this event? This would completely break the internet and Floyd is very mindful of that,” Ellerbe said. “That’s why Logan Paul is licking his chops because he is the bigger, stronger guy. Even though he doesn’t have exceptional skills as the high level boxer, any damn thing can happen and Floyd is very mindful of that. You have weight classes for a reason.”
The rest of the card is as follows. Badou Jack will square off against Dervin Colina in a light heavyweight contest in the co-main event. Colina is stepping in on short notice after Jack’s scheduled opponent, Jean Pascal, tested positive for four types of steroids in the pre-fight screenings. Also on the card is former unified junior middleweight champion Jarrett Hurd as he steps up in weight to take on Luis Arias in a 160-pound contest. And to kick things off, former NFL wide receiver Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson will make his debut in a four-round exhibition against Brian Maxwell.
Most fans tuning in will have an interest one way or another in who wins the fight, regardless of whether you can bet on it or not. Because of that, our experts handicapped how they see the action playing out below.
- Floyd Mayweather vs. Logan Paul — contracted exhibition (8 rounds)
- Badou Jack -2500 vs. Dervin Colina +1200, light heavyweight (10 rounds)
- Jarrett Hurd -900 vs. Luis Arias +600, junior middleweight (10 rounds)
- Chad Johnson vs. Brian Maxwell, contracted exhibition (4 rounds)
- Date: June 6 | Start time: 8 p.m. ET (main card)
- Location: Hard Rock Stadium — Miami Gardens, Florida
- TV: Showtime PPV on all traditional cable and satellite providers | Live stream: Showtime.com or the Showtime App | Price: $49.99
Mayweather vs. Paul predictions
Brian Campbell: The physical advantages Paul will enter the ring with can’t necessary be overlooked. The former standout high school wrestler and football player is 18 years younger than Mayweather, six inches taller and has a reach that is four inches longer. He’s also expected to be anywhere from 45 to 50 rounds heavier. Mayweather has never fought anyone bigger than 154 pounds and Paul weighed 199.5 pounds in his pro debut. Expect those never-before-seen obstacles to give Mayweather at least a round or two of pause as he gauges the hand speed and timing of his younger foe. But once he’s fully adjusted, Mayweather should have zero issue — even retired at age 44 — of being able to land clean, hard pull counters anytime he pleases. The biggest question regarding Paul’s ability to survive surrounds how good his untested chin can be against the pinpoint accuracy of a real professional. Paul is both hungry and fearless but his rudimentary knowledge of the sport compared to that of Mayweather can only produce one result: a mid-fight knockout.
Brent Brookhouse: Give Paul five more years of strong boxing training while Mayweather ages closer to 50 and Mayweather would still be the favorite in a fight. There’s no way for Paul to close the experience gap or get to Mayweather’s level of technique. That said, Paul’s size and strength advantages are very real, a fact of which Mayweather is certainly aware. As such, Mayweather will likely go slow in the opening round, taking in information and formulating his approach to the rest of the fight. While the bluster from Paul’s trainer that his jab rivals that of Larry Holmes is clearly nonsense, I have no doubt they have worked extensively on that jab to attempt to keep Mayweather from closing distance and using all his technical advantages. It only makes sense to pick Mayweather here, but his pride does factor in a bit. There will be no on-site judges and no winner announced, which means if Mayweather wants to truly claim victory outside of on a “we all saw it” basis, he’s going to have to knock Paul out. I believe he can and will do so around Round 5, but is going to have to take some chances to make that happen, and that means exposing a 44-year-old chin to a man anywhere up to 50 pounds bigger than him. Look for a late Mayweather knockout in a fight that plays out in a way that is a bit more compelling than many expect.