For an event that so many people previously claimed to not care about, there is suddenly a lot of interest in Floyd Mayweather’s next move.
“Stay tuned,” Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions told BoxingScene.com of Mayweather’s pending exhibition match with YouTube celebrity and boxing novice Logan Paul (0-1).
Mayweather (50-0, 27KOs) is due to soon announce plans for his aforementioned clash with Paul. The exhibition was originally due to headline a Feb. 20 Fanmio Pay-Per-View event, only to drop off of the scheduled without any explanation for the postponement.
Rumors have since swirled of the Hall of Fame former five-division champion and the sport’s all-time box-office king enjoying a triumphant return in the coming months. Mayweather has previously fought one other exhibition bout. The event came in Dec. 2018, when he traveled to Japan to face local hero and celebrated kickboxing champion Tenshin Nakasuwa in a non-sanctioned bout fought strictly under boxing rules.
Nakasuwa—whose fighting weight classifies as featherweight in boxing—was miserably overmatched, as Mayweather scored three knockdowns en route to a stoppage after just 2:19 of action.
A similar mismatch is expected versus Paul, who lost his only pro bout—a six-round split decision defeat to recording artist and fellow YouTube personality Olajide ‘KSi’ Olatunji in their Nov. 2019. The 6’2” Paul weighed 199 ¼ pounds for the DAZN-streamed event.
Enjoying advantages of at least six inches in height and 50 pounds in natural body weight, Paul is met with restrictions for the showdown with Mayweather. The online influencer cannot weigh more than 190 pounds for the bout, while the 5’8” Mayweather cannot weigh more than 160 pounds. That mark far exceeds Mayweather’s heaviest as a pro, when he weighed 151 pounds in a May 2012 unanimous decision win over Cotto for his second junior middleweight title win.
Mayweather weighed just 149 ½ pounds for the final official fight of his career, a 10th round knockout of Conor McGregor, a mixed martial arts superstar with the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) who made his pro debut as a boxer. The Aug. 2017 Showtime Pay-Per-View event generated 4.3 million buys, second only to Mayweather’s 12-round unanimous decision win over Manny Pacquiao which eclipsed 4.6 million buys.
“Everything we’ve done with Floyd has always set the standard, always leading by example,” notes Ellerbe of his longtime close friend and business partner. “Even with Conor McGregor, that fight generated the second highest revenue total in the history of the sport. That was four years ago, people are still talking about that night. People are still trying to find a way to bring Conor McGregor back to the sport.”
Plans for the event come on the heels of fellow ring legends Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. engaging in a high-profile exhibition match last November, along with retired greats Evander Holyfield, Miguel Cotto, Juan Manuel Marquez, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. and Marco Antonio Barrera all set for separate events (save for Cotto and Marquez who face each other) in June. Paul’s younger brother, Jake Paul (3-0, 3KOs) has emerged as box-office gold in the ring.
“Look, I commend all those who go out there and try to leave their mark,” Ellerbe acknowledges in general, not specifying any particular platform. “If it brings more eyeballs to the sport, I’m all for it. At the end of the day, it’s all about entertainment. This is why I can never be mad at anyone who thinks outside the box. Once you start living in that bubble and only do things inside that bubble, you don’t ever have a chance to separate yourself.
“Who’s looking to be ordinary? Nothing about us has ever been ordinary. We’re always trying to think outside the box. Floyd is always looking to do something different. This show is going to be nothing like Floyd has ever done before.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox