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Fleeting sensationalism is plaguing the boxing world

Logan Paul challenged Floyd Mayweather to a boxing match in 2019, Mayweather accepted and signed the contract in 2020, and the [joke of a] fight took place last Sunday.

To anyone who paid $50 to see the fight, I apologize for the decision you made. I, like many others, was hoping for a fight that would end in a humbling knockout for a cocky, loud-mouthed YouTuber courtesy of an incomparable legend. Instead, we got to see a YouTuber-turned-boxer, with a professional record of 0-1, flail his arms wildly until he wore himself out and then proceed to hug Mayweather any time he got too close. To be fair, there were some punches that landed, and there are even conspiracy theorists that believe Mayweather knocked Paul out but held him up until he quickly came to, so that they could continue the fight. Still, the fight wasn’t the brawl we were hoping for, and the only person who was satisfied was Paul’s younger brother and fellow troll, Jake Paul.

As an amateur, Paul’s first fight ended as a draw against fellow YouTuber KSI. Then, his first professional fight, a rematch with KSI, ended in Paul’s first loss. Most recently, Paul and Mayweather ended their exhibition bout—it could only be won by forcing a stoppage or landing a knockout blow—in a draw.

The point I’m making here is that Paul is not some accomplished, up-and-coming boxer who deserved a shot at Mayweather. He’s just famous around the world for his obnoxious YouTube career that featured antics like filming a suicide victim in a forest in Japan and tasing dead rats. He relies on sensationalism to avoid becoming irrelevant, and now that sensationalism is infecting the world of boxing at the expense of fans’ time and money.

Mayweather has defeated opponents like Conor McGregor, Oscar De La Hoya, Canelo Alvarez and Manny Pacquiao—although, if you ask me, Pacquiao won that fight, but that is another discussion for another day. Why would anyone think for a second that Logan Paul, despite how he towers over Mayweather, was going to be the guy to end Mayweather’s 50-0 professional record?

I get it. It’s exciting when something like this happens, when an arrogant internet celebrity starts running his mouth at a champ and calls him out in his own profession, but this excitement fades as soon as the fight ends. Afterward, fans are sitting on their couch, staring at their TV, thinking “what did I just watch?” It is the same feeling you get after you eat or drink that way-too-sugary product you know you didn’t need. It isn’t truly satisfying.

Boxing is a sport that birthed greats like Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Sugar Ray Robinson and many others. I fear that this clash—both literally and figuratively—of social media influencers and proven boxers will only taint the sport if it continues.

Boxers who ascend to fame for their power and skill—and not their views on YouTube—are a formidable group of men who deserve respect.

Why are boxing promoters, managers and the boxers themselves letting unworthy “fighters” like Paul into the ring?

I wouldn’t even consider myself a fan of boxing, but as someone who values integrity, it’s getting harder to watch these fights which only amount to a cash grab for everyone involved.

There’s no sport in that.

But hey, at least the Paul brothers have more content to post on their social media platforms as they continue to troll the boxing world and the world in general, and Mayweather’s record remains perfect.

Written by Zach Edmondson, sports editor. Graphic courtesy of Gracie Lucas, former digital content editor.

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