YouTuber Logan Paul has struck a deal to fight former boxing megastar Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a “special exhibition” match on February 20th. The bout will be streamed as a pay-per-view on Fanmio.
Mayweather is an undefeated champion with a 50-0 record, multiple world titles in five weight classes, and an Olympic bronze medal. Paul is best known for his controversial YouTube video where he filmed a dead body in a Japanese forest. He has fought in one sanctioned boxing match: a loss to fellow YouTuber KSI.
Needless to say, this is unlikely to be a festival of evenly matched athletic prowess. But Mayweather is not above signing up to farcical contests for the spectacle and the payday. His 50th official win involved him coming out of retirement in 2017 to face UFC star Conor McGregor, who had never professionally boxed before. The following year he fought kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in a widely panned exhibition match, winning by TKO in the first round.
Mayweather called out Logan Paul last month on Twitter, making his thoughts on boxing YouTubers clear and saying he’s “not the one for the kid games.” Paul’s brother, Jake, responded to Mayweather’s comments ahead of his own fight against former NBA player Nate Robinson, which he ended up winning.
“You know, it doesn’t bother me,” Jake told The Daily Beast. “At the end of the day, he’s like 5-foot-4, so he’s actually the little kid here, and obviously he just wants attention. He’s fifty-something years old. He should be in retirement. So he just wants to get relevancy by talking about the YouTube kids, because we’re the ones popping off right now.”
(Mayweather is actually 5-foot-8 and 43 years old. Also very good at boxing.)
The whole situation is deeply silly, which is no doubt why organizers expect a lot of people to tune in. The “early pricing” of $24.99 only applies to the first million PPV sales, with the price rising to $39.99, then $59.99 on December 29th, then $69.99 from February 11th.