Many boxing fans were disappointed when Floyd Mayweather didn’t knock Logan Paul out. They were looking forward to seeing a YouTube star crash into reality.
But there were a few things that we all forgot about the match. First, it was an exhibition match. There were no judges, so there was no way to call an official winner. That’s why licensed sportsbooks offered pools where bettors could make a few guesses about how the fight and post-match interviews would go.
Second, Floyd Mayweather already told us what would bring him out of retirement. In October 2020, CBS Sports quoted Mayweather saying he’d come out of retirement for the right fight. It would have to have a large payday and pose minimal risk to his health.
The Logan Paul fight satisfied both requirements. Logan Paul is the worse boxer of the Paul brothers, but the more outrageous social media star. He was the one who posted the suicide forest video in 2018 that got his channel demonetized. His brother, Jake Paul, is 3-0 in his professional boxing matches. Logan Paul is 0-1. He lost his only professional bout and his rematch with the British YouTuber that beat him ended in a draw. Logan Paul didn’t threaten Floyd Mayweather and promised to draw a crowd and money. It was a great match.
Logan Paul was Floyd Mayweather’s perfect post-retirement fight.
What The Mayweather Fight Says About Celebrity Today
Some sports fans, officials, and journalists have lamented the state of boxing after the Paul/Mayweather fight. Dana White has criticized the hype created around boxing matches, comparing boxing unfavorably to his organization, the UFC. However, leveraging hype to generate more revenue isn’t a unique problem to boxing. Boxing may struggle with it, but excessive hype the same thing that makes popular streamers, well, popular.
Online celebrities on YouTube, TikTok, and other social media sites draw people to them in a few ways. Engaging content and an equally engaging personality can make a hard worker an online sensation. It’s a cheap form of celebrity that’s accessible to people outside of sports and acting. However, it also reopens the door for retired athletes to retake the spotlight without competing with the current generation of stars.
The Different Levels Of Celebrity In Sports
There are two levels of celebrity in sports. The higher one consists of current greats, like Simone Biles, who remain competitive, relevant, and who continue setting records and breaking barriers. She, and athletes like her, don’t rest on past accomplishments. They reach new heights on and off the field.
But the lower level of sport-celebrity are people who use their reputations or past careers to avoid pushing boundaries past their prime. That doesn’t take away from past accomplishments or storied careers. But even admired athletes like Floyd Mayweather can let hype draw crowds instead of a legitimate challenge. That nonsense is expected from social media stars like the Paul brothers, but not from professionals. But with the bar for fame lowered, garnering hype has never been easier for stars with past accomplishments to leverage.
How Bettors Can Avoid The Hype Trap
If a match looks too good to be true, then it probably is. Logan Paul’s bout with Floyd Mayweather is a good example. Even though it was only an exhibition, bettors and boxing fans thought they knew how it’d end. Many were looking for a first-round knockout. Others were curious to see how Paul’s brawn fared against Mayweather’s skill. Others still just wanted Mayweather to knock Paul’s lights out. It looked too easy.
And it was.
The match turned out differently than many assumed, and that’s what smart bettors should’ve wagered on. Even though licensed sportsbooks didn’t offer game lines on the Paul/Mayweather fight, bettors could’ve bet the unexpected in the pools offered. The DraftKings pool I entered offered a yes/no option on whether the fight would last eight rounds. Another yes/no option asked whether there’d be a knockout in the first four rounds.
I chose incorrectly on both counts. Both mistakes could’ve been avoided by giving Logan Paul more credit. (I don’t like saying that any more than you like reading it.)
Bettors can avoid similar mistakes by not buying into the hype surrounding games they bet on. However, it’s one thing to question and suspect the hype. It’s another to resist the sports analysis that stems from the hype. If bettors want to beat the hype, then they must be willing to make their own analyses starting from square one. The clues to a disappointing bout were in Floyd Mayweather’s reasonable interviews and both boxers’ histories. It’ll be a useful case study for studious bettors.
What’s Next For Logan Paul And Floyd Mayweather?
Despite poor ratings, both men came away from the fight some millions of dollars richer. The only hard numbers are estimations, which vary by tens of millions of dollars. (Fox Sports Radio’s website threw some numbers out but cited none of them.) Having made their money on this fight, both fighters will go in different directions.
Floyd Mayweather has already voiced interest in another profitable fight that won’t rough him up too much. Specifically, he’s voiced interest in boxing:
- Jake Paul
- Conor McGregor
- Khabib Nurmagomedov
So if there’s enough demand to see Floyd Mayweather in a fight with a better boxer and he’s up for it, we could see another Floyd Mayweather fight.
It’s unclear where Logan Paul will go next. His brother, Jake Paul, seems more interested in a professional boxing career than Logan. However, the Paul brothers are known for ridiculous, trollish behavior. It gets likes, views, and subscribers. As a shrewd Slate interview with Rachelle Hampton and Madison Malone Kircher explored, pay-per-view events like these untether the Paul brothers from social media sites. Diverse revenue streams give the outrageous Paul brothers more secure ways to make money. That decreases the impact demonetization has on the Paul brothers’ income.
That means Logan Paul’s boxing talent is beside the point. Whatever his next event is, it’ll be a spectacle that makes him irresistibly watchable. A fight between the Paul brothers would be interesting. Jake Paul has experienced success against other boxers that continues to elude his older brother.
Whatever happens next, bettors must be careful not to underestimate Logan Paul or overestimate Floyd Mayweather and athletes like him. Bettors will make better decisions if they make their own analyses instead of over-relying on others.