Logan Paul’s social media jibes were the first public hint but those close to Floyd Mayweather insist the fight was his idea.
Boxing icon Mayweather steps back into the ring to face social media superstar Logan Paul on Sunday night, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
This is how the unlikely event became a reality…
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The social media trash talk
Mayweather vs Logan Paul this year!
No joke… that’s boxing insider just told me… pic.twitter.com/uh2UW9Wkdo
Last September a social media influencer called Keemstar tweeted the first suggestion about Mayweather vs Logan Paul.
Viddal Riley, a fighter promoted by Mayweather who trained KSI to defeat Logan Paul, then said: “Remember, I get the inside scoop. I hang around the family. It is not confirmed yet but it is in talks.”
Paul, whose only pro boxing match was a defeat to fellow YouTuber KSI, posted last November: “If I caught Floyd with one punch, one punch? I would snap [him] in half. I am eight inches taller. I am 40lb heavier.”
Mayweather hit back in reference to Conor McGregor: “Three years ago a fighter from the UFC said my name and I had to put a muzzle on [him]. Logan Paul can get the same treatment.”
Paul replied “50-1” – a sign that he intended to ruin Mayweather’s trademark record.
The FaceTime call
Logan Paul shared footage of a private conversation with Mayweather where he said: “What I want to do with you is create the biggest fight the world has ever seen.”
An unimpressed Mayweather replied: “Without you I can do that.”
Paul: “I don’t think so.”
Mayweather: “This ain’t what you do. You play boxing. I fight for real, you know that.”
Paul: “So show me. You don’t need to know who I am, but I know this would be one of the biggest fights in the history of the internet. Ever. There is no bigger headline.”
Was Mayweather immediately interested?
“A conversation was had. Somebody asked Floyd if he would be opposed to entertaining it,” Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe told Sky Sports.
“He loved the idea because this is entertainment.”
Did Mayweather seek a second opinion?
The fight was rescheduled…
Mayweather gave his fans on social media a choice of five US cities to host this fight before Miami was chosen.
He then told the Disruptive Entrepreneur podcast: “I can fight a fighter right now and I can guarantee myself $35million.
“I can eventually probably make $50million, for just a regular fight.
“Or me and Logan Paul can go out, entertain, have fun and make nine figures $100million or more.
“Everybody thinks that ‘retired’ means at home with your feet up and picking up weight.”
Paul warned: “I need as much practice, training, sparring under my belt against this guy. With every day that goes past, I get better and he gets older.”
A post shared by Logan Paul (@loganpaul)
How did the Miami mega-event come together?
“As usual with big spectacles and big events, it came from the mind of Mayweather,” Stephen Espinoza, the president of US TV network Showtime, told Sky Sports.
“I asked him: ‘What is the idea? What is the vision?’
“He said: ‘Understand that I am retired. I am not holding up the belts. I am not trying to stop the sport. I am doing what I’ve done my entire career’.
“He’s right – his career has consisted of making spectacles of events that became much more than fights. That’s what this is.
“What he’s basically saying is: ‘I’m going to do a big event, entertain people, my fans will be happy to see me in one form or another, Logan’s fans want to see if he is big enough, young enough, strong enough to land a lucky punch’.”
A post shared by Floyd Mayweather (@floydmayweather)
Was Mayweather aware of Logan Paul’s popularity?
“Of course,” explained Leonard Ellerbe. “If you are knowledgeable, how could you not be?
“This is the sport that Floyd made over $1billion in so how could he not be?
“If you look at social media, on every boxing website, people are talking about Logan Paul. Look at his following, and there is a reason why he has this following.”
Mayweather is a great self-promoter – does he respect Logan Paul?
Ellerbe added: “We have the king of boxing and we have this great internet star. I have to commend Logan Paul and his brother for bringing attention to the sport.
“I am very impressed. We are in a generation where social media plays a major role. They bring eyeballs and attention to anything they do, which benefits boxing as a whole.
“We are talking about young people who may not necessarily watch boxing.
“But because they are fans of Logan Paul they will tune into whatever he does because they have followed his journey from the beginning.
“Logan brings something to the table.”
Watch Mayweather v Logan Paul on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Box Office, from midnight. Book it via your Sky remote or book it online here. Non-Sky TV subscribers can book and watch it here.
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