The highest-grossing boxer of all time is set to once again embark on the exhibition circuit.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. confirmed widespread rumors of his return to the ring, as the former five-division world champion and pound-for-pound king will face YouTube star and boxing novice Logan Paul. Their exhibition bout will take place February 20, 2021, Mayweather announced on his verified Instagram account on Sunday.
Representatives from Mayweather Promotions confirmed the validity of the announcement to BoxingScene.com, simply stating “It’s real.”
Neither a location nor weight division has been designated for the event, which will air live on Pay-Per-View. The show—which lands just four days before Mayweather’s 44th birthday—will be distributed through FanMio.com, a website dedicated to selling online meet-and-greets with celebrities from all genres.
The event carries four price tiers, beginning with an early bird special which will allow viewers to purchase the show for $24.99 through December 28. In a sign of optimism, a second early bird tier of $39.99 has been offered once pre-sales surpass the 1,000,000-buy threshold. The price increases to $59.99 beginning December 29 and then to its full suggested retail price of $69.99 beginning February 11, 2021 through fight night.
Mayweather (50-0, 27KOs) has not entered the ring in any fighting capacity—sanctioned or exhibition—since a New Year’s Eve 2018 boxing exhibition match with Japanese kickboxer and mixed martial artist Tenshin Nasukawa.
The farcical event–which topped the RIZIN 14 event in Saitama, Japan—drew heavy criticism due to the gross size mismatch, with Nasakawa coming up from featherweight to face one of the greatest boxers of all time in Mayweather in an announced three-round exhibition. Mayweather scored three knockdowns en route to a first-round stoppage.
As widely criticized as was the event, Mayweather drew his fair share of scorn for his last official sanctioned bout. The unbeaten five-division champ ended a 23-month ring hiatus to face Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) superstar and boxing debutant Conor McGregor in August 2018. Mayweather won by 10th round knockout atop a Showtime Pay-Per-View card which landed as the second highest-grossing boxing event of all time, drawing 4.3 million buys and producing a live gate of $55,414,865.79 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Mayweather owns the four best-selling PPV events of all time, including a career-defining 12-round near-shutout of Manny Pacquiao in boxing’s ultimate pound-for-pound showdown. Their May 2015 clash sold 4.6 million PPV units which generated more than $410,000,000 in PPV revenue along with a live gate of $72,198.500 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Both figures surpassed the industry’s previous records, set by Mayweather in his September 2013 points win over Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez ($150 million in PPV revenue) and his May 2007 decision victory over Oscar de la Hoya (2.48 million PPV buys).
Whereas the exhibition with Nasukawa saw Mayweather criticized for picking on a smaller fighter, it’s the future Hall of Famer who gives away size advantage this time. Paul is 0-1 as a pro boxer, but who stands 6’2” and fights as a cruiserweight. Paul weighed 199 ¼ pounds for his November 2019 split decision loss to fellow online personality KSI (real name Olajide William Olatunji).
Mayweather has never weighed heavier than 151 pounds in his 21-year pro career, hitting that mark in a May 2012 decision win over Miguel Cotto to become a two-time junior middleweight titlist. The 5’8” Mayweather began his career at 131 pounds, winning lineal championships at junior lightweight, lightweight, welterweight and junior middleweight as well as an alphabet belt at junior welterweight. He has weighed above the welterweight limit just four times in his career—versus de la Hoya, Cotto, Alvarez and McGregor.
The announcement comes on the heels of the November 28 Triller Pay-Per-View event headlined by legends Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. The show aired live from a crowdless Staples Center in Los Angeles, which—as previously reported by BoxingScene.com’s Manouk Akopyan—sold 1.6 million PPV buys, good for the 10th best-selling US boxing PPV event in history.
Fans interested in purchasing the event can do so through FanMio's website.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox