B/R Debate: Should We Take Floyd Mayweather vs. Logan Paul Seriously?

Kelsey McCarsonFeatured ColumnistDecember 9, 2020

B/R Debate: Should We Take Floyd Mayweather vs. Logan Paul Seriously?

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    Retired boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. returns to action against YouTuber Logan Paul in what has to be considered the most unlikely boxing pay-per-view event in history.

    Mayweather vs. Paul will be a special exhibition boxing bout between one of boxing's all-time great champions and a social media star who became a professional prizefighter last year.

    According to the press release distributed by Fanmio, Mayweather vs. Paul is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, at a venue to be determined, and it's a fight that's "expected to shatter" boxing pay-per-view records that Mayweather already owns.

    So, what's the deal? Are we really supposed to take this exhibition boxing bout seriously?

    That's the big question this time around as boxing's best debate team gets back together for another virtual throwdown.

Kelsey McCarson: 'Embrace This Strange Grift...Err...Gift'

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    Danny Moloshok/Associated Press

    Instead of gathering our pitchforks and going on some kind of phony crusade against the inherent circus-like aspect of basically the entire combats sports world, I say we all just embrace this strange grift...err...gift with a smile.

    And maybe a wink?

    Do you know how many people out there in the world believe their size, weight, or some other specific-to-them circumstance would give them a real chance against an actual Hall of Fame fighter?

    It's way more than you think.

    Logan Paul is either one of these people (which I seriously doubt), or he's the type of mover and shaker who knows how to generate interest in the things he does so he can make some serious cash.

    Either way, two things are about to happen to him. He's gonna get paid and he's gonna get wrecked.

    The 25-year-old YouTuber weighed nearly 200 pounds in his lone professional boxing match last year.

    Effectively, it means Mayweather, who started his career at 130 pounds and weighed his heaviest at 154 pounds against Miguel Cotto back in 2012, will be giving up an absurd 50 pounds or so when these two guys climb inside the ring for whatever kind of special exhibition boxing bout this turns out to be.

    Paul has been training long enough as a boxer to know that none of that will matter.

    And do you know what? All that is awesome.

    Mayweather, 43, is one of the best fighters in boxing history. We should probably just enjoy these types of appearances for as long as we get them because someday these types of things won't happen anymore.

    Actually, I'm super surprised they're already happening now. It took Mike Tyson 15 years to figure this same thing out. Mayweather is ahead of the curve.

    So, heck yes! Let's take this event seriously, at least enough to buy the fight on Fanmio so we can sit back and enjoy watching Mayweather do his thing one more time.

Lyle Fitzsimmons: 'Cash Grab and Manipulation'

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    You'll have to forgive me.

    I've experienced a few more sunrises and sunsets—that's how we Floridians track time—than my friend Kelsey has, so it's taking me a while to pinpoint exactly who's to blame for all this.

    I was thinking that guy Puck from MTV's Real World show in the '90s. Perhaps Simon Cowell and his countless iterations of kids playing ukuleles and shut-ins singing opera.

    Or maybe Mark Burnett envisioning a prime-time host ambitious enough to run the free world.

    Each has played a role in building a society enamored more by "reality" than what's genuine.

    Which is how we've gotten to this point in the first place.

    Discussing Floyd Mayweather—a Canastota-bound superstar—fighting a guy whose sole accomplishment so far is convincing 50 million people he's got something of value to contribute.

    Go ahead and read it again. I'll wait.

    It doesn't make any more sense after a second, third or fourth glance, does it?

    And other than Mayweather, Logan Paul and their respective cadres of hype men and hangers-on, it won't do anyone else any good, either.

    While the exhibition between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones provided little more than glancing blows between prolonged embraces, it at least indulged boxing fans with nostalgia for how captivating the sport can be when it matches fighters with sublime skills and transcendent personalities.

    This, though, is far different.

    Mayweather vs. Logan Paul isn't about whether a 43-year-old man can summon the muscle memory to beat the smirk off the face of a 20-something influencer with precisely zero boxing chops.

    It's about conning as many intellectually vacant rubes as possible for 25 bucks a pop, while creating a "rivalry" that'll no doubt lead to Mayweather vs. Jake Paul as an encore at $50 a head.

    Meanwhile, the guys who do it for a living get pushed further toward the margins and have a little more oxygen sucked out of the room as this silliness becomes the new normal.

    Hard work and dedication, step aside.

    You've been replaced by cash grab and manipulation.

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