In their eight-round exhibition boxing match in Miami Gardens, Fla., Floyd Mayweather Jr. announced early Monday that he hoped to give entertainment, while YouTube personality Logan Paul battled to “survive”
Paul startled fans by going the distance at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday. The bout between the retired unbeaten (50-0) boxing champion and the social media sensation was not adjudicated, and no winner was declared.
Mayweather, 44, hit 34 of the 107 punches fired at him (40 percent ). Paul, 26, hit 28 of the 217 punches he threw (13 percent ).
“I was surprised by him,” Mayweather said of Paul. “I’m not 21 anymore, but it’s good to move around with these young guys, test my skills and have some fun.”
Among the celebrities in attendance were former boxing champion Evander Holyfield, NFL great Terrell Owens, former NBA player Paul Pierce, and rappers Fat Joe and Migos.
Many expected Mayweather to knock out Paul in the first round, but Paul fought off melees until the final bell.
“I don’t want anyone to tell me anything is impossible ever again,” Paul declared. “The fact that I was in there with one of the greatest boxers of all time proves that the odds can be beat.”
Paul, who is 35 pounds heavier and six inches taller than Mayweather, utilised his big bulk to crowd his much more experienced opponent.
Mayweather, one of the best defensive boxers in history, held his gloves in front of his face to block barrages from Paul. He used a deceptive right hook out of those blocks to deliver devastating blows.
Paul’s defense weakened as he fatigued in the later rounds. Mayweather used the openings to deliver lightening-quick combinations of jabs and uppercuts to Paul’s midsection and left eye, which swelled after the fight.
Mayweather’s most recent official fight was a 2017 victory against former UFC fighter Conor McGregor. In 2019, Paul lost his lone official fight against fellow YouTuber KSI.
“His whole goal wasn’t to come out here and knock me out,” Mayweather remarked of Paul. “His only objective was to live. That was a victory for him.”
Throughout the night, fighters grumbled about the slick canvas, which was saturated from rain that poured down around the makeshift ring, which was set up around midfield at the Miami Dolphins’ home stadium.
The main event kicked off with a match between former NFL wide receiver Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson and Brian Maxwell.
Johnson started the four-round bout with great energy and footwork for an early edge. He continued his shifty defense in the second round, but lowered his hands down the stretch.
Maxwell was the more aggressive fighter for the final two rounds. He drilled Johnson in the face with a heavy right-handed right hook in the final round. Johnson fell to the ground due to the blow.
Johnson landed 31% of his punches in the exhibition. Maxwell landed 25% of his punches.
“I had fun two months to get ready for this,” Johnson said. “My life is about taking chances, doing crazy stuff and doing stuff on my bucket list. This was a message for people scared to live and take chances. Don’t be scared to fail.
“I don’t box. I’m a little sloppy. It was fun. I think I’m ready for [Conor] McGregor.”
Luis Arias (19-2-1) upset former middleweight champion Jarrett Hurd (24-2) by split decision in the second bout of the main card. Arias was the more aggressive fighter throughout the 10-round bout.
Arias landed 34% of his punches, compared to Hurd’s 30% landed punches. The loss gives Hurd two setbacks in his last three fights. He was 23-0 from 2012 through 2018.
“He fought a great fight,” Arias said. “He could have had me. I was definitely buzzed. If he would have found a way i could have went down.”
Badou Jack (23-3) pushed his record to 24-3 with a technical knockout win over Dervin Colina (15-1) in a light heavyweight bout, the last fight before the main event.
“It was a little sloppy,” Jack said. “It wasn’t my best fight, but it got the job done.”
Jack, one of boxing’s top body punchers, knocked Colina out in the fourth round with his third knockdown of the fight to terminate the battle.
In what was supposed to be a 10-round fight, Jack landed 42 of 161 punches. In the defeat, Colina landed 17 of 99 punches.
Mayweather has not ruled out another exhibition fight, but has stated that he would not compete in another legitimate fight. Paul stated that he intends to continue training and pursuing a boxing career.
Logan’s brother, YouTube sensation Jake Paul (3-0), will face former UFC champion Tyron Woodley (0-0) in another boxing match on Aug. 28.
Jake defeated Ben Askren in his most recent battle on April 17.