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Dana White 'Would Love to See' Floyd Mayweather Retire; Talks Logan Paul in UFC

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJune 8, 2021

Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

UFC President Dana White said he would like to see boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. retire rather than do "silly" exhibition fights like Sunday night's clash with YouTube star Logan Paul.

"I would love to see Floyd retire," he told TMZ Sports in an interview released Tuesday. "... He's had an incredible career and to do these type of fights, it's silly."

White added he's not sure whether he'd be interested in seeing Paul enter the UFC Octagon.

"I don't know, man. I don't know," he said. "Here's the thing, not to say that I haven't taken a guy in that's been 0-0 into the UFC and done those types of fights before...I don't know."

Mayweather and Paul engaged in a mostly mundane exhibition bout. At one point, it appeared the undefeated former five-division world champion delivered a knockout blow to his YouTube counterpart but helped him stay on his feet to keep the fight going.

That's the difficulty with a legend like Mayweather trying to capitalize on the recent interest in high-profile exhibitions: If he's too dominant, the interest will fade. He needs to maximize the entertainment factor without quickly knocking out opponents who'd typically have no business in the ring with him.

White told TMZ he's not surprised about the recent trend of exhibition boxing matches between celebrities, aging fighters and former athletes—former NFL wide receiver Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson was also on Sunday's card.

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"Imagine if Kim Kardashian wanted to fight Amanda Nunes ... how big do you think that fight would be?" he said. "What do you think Kim Kardashian would make if she fought Amanda Nunes ... probably more than anybody's ever made, ever."

As for a potential Mayweather retirement, that seems unlikely in the short term.

The 44-year-old Michigan native told TMZ last week he expected to earn upward of $100 million for this fight with Paul, and he was already eyeing a fight with Logan's brother, Jake, next time out.

"After Logan, probably Jake. We don't know. We will see," Mayweather said.

If he can generate nine-figure paydays for carrying celebrities through eight-round fights, that's a tough gig to step away from, especially since Mayweather is one of the greatest defenders in boxing history, which limits any potential downside from the bouts.

Meanwhile, it wouldn't be a surprise if the UFC tries to get in on the celebrity fight wave in the coming months. It's a potentially lucrative venture for everyone involved.

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