SPORTS

Mayweather unbothered by critics ahead of exhibition bout

Mayweather

Floyd Mayweather has drawn scorn ahead of his latest return to the ring, but the undefeated American seems unconcerned.

The dubious notion of Mayweather, a 44-year-old former welterweight world champion who retired with an undefeated 50-0 record, facing a 26-year-old internet sensation with only two fights under his belt, has been met with scorn across much of the sporting world.

At Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday, a weird exhibition bout against Logan Paul is slated for eight rounds with no judges ringside.

The event’s promoters are expecting for pay-per-view sales in the two million area, resulting in a handsome payoff for the participants.

Logan’s younger brother, Jake Paul, allegedly drew 1.3 million viewers and won $75 million for his April battle against mixed martial artist Ben Askren, so those statistics might be surpassed given Mayweather’s appeal and his opponent’s social media notoriety.

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Meanwhile, Mayweather is well aware that his first return to the ring since a New Year’s Eve exhibition bout in Japan in 2018, which ended in the first round, has piqued the interest of boxing purists.

Those who fear he is damaging his reputation and the sport, though, are dismissed by the American.

‘Just here to entertain’
“I don’t really worry about the (pay-per-view) numbers,” Mayweather told AFP on Thursday. “I am just here to have fun and entertain.

“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I live for Floyd Mayweather and I choose what I want to do. If I want to go out, have some fun and make $50, $60, $70, $100 million, let me do it. I am not bothering anyone. I am not out robbing or killing. I am doing what I want to do.”

“I retired but I didn’t retire from entertaining and making money.”

Mayweather broke the paradigm in 2017 when he came out of retirement to defeat UFC star Conor McGregor in a lucrative Las Vegas crossover event, sparking a current trend of boxers seeking opponents outside of the sport.

When Mayweather came out of retirement in 2017 to defeat UFC star Conor McGregor in a lucrative Las Vegas crossover event, he sparked a current trend of boxers seeking opponents outside of the sport.

“We have always thought outside of the box,” Leonard Ellerbe, chief executive of Mayweather Promotions told AFP.

“Floyd has beaten more world champions than anyone but the die-hard fans will never give him the credit he deserves. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and that’s fine. Floyd will live his life how he wants to.”

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