Viewers who tuned into Monday’s boxing circus between Floyd Mayweather and Logan Paul have questioned whether the pair had agreed before touching gloves the fight would go the distance after social media sleuths honed in on a dubious moment in the pair’s meeting.
The bout lasted the full eight rounds but because it was only an exhibition, there were no judges to give anyone a points victory at the end of it all.
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Despite the lack of officials, plenty suggested Mayweather was the real loser because the man with a 50-0 professional record failed to put away someone who rose to fame on YouTube rather than inside the ring.
However, “Money” walked away from Miami with a reported $133 million payday — so win or lose, he’s literally laughing all the way to the bank.
Fans slammed the farcical nature of the fight and one moment in particular caught viewers’ attention. Mayweather landed a solid right hand to Paul’s head in the fifth round which looked like it rocked the YouTuber, but he fell towards his opponent and instead of hitting the canvas, tumbled into Mayweather’s body.
Some suggested it looked like Mayweather was doing his best to prop Paul up so he didn’t fall over, allowing the fight to continue rather than come to an early end.
TV presenter Sid Seixeiro responded to the clip by tweeting: “The moment you realise Floyd Mayweather probably laid a slew of bets that this fight would go the distance.”
Wrestler Allysin Kay wrote: “Everything is pro wrestling.”
Kevin Clancy spruiked the conspiracy on Barstool Sports while musician Benton Blount added: “Seems fans of both Floyd Mayweather & Logan Paul who feel that either won the fight failed to see the moment when Floyd literally knocked out Paul then held him up to help him finish the fight. Why are you arguing about a fight that was predetermined?”
Dan Barker said: “Does Floyd remember here he wasn’t supposed to knock him down?”
For The Win’s Henry McKenna wrote: “During the fight, there were a few moments where you couldn’t help but wonder if Mayweather was holding his punches — and even physically holding up Paul from a knockout finish.”
Mayweather said after the fight Paul put up a better showing than he expected.
“I wanted to give the people a show, and he was fighting to survive, as you guys could see,” Mayweather said. “Every time he would punch, he would clinch. He was the bigger guy, and a little awkward.
“But his background was in wrestling, so he was good at tying me up. A guy that came in over 200 and some pounds (90kg). I came in at 155 (70kg), but no excuses. I had fun tonight.
“As you guys could see, he was putting his leg on the rope. He was fatigued. He’s a great grappler. But I’ve been in this sport for so long, and tonight was letting the people see that I’m able to come out at my age, at 44, and sell out 30,000 and still do crazy numbers to where I can make Showtime crash.
“So I’m truly blessed, and I’m not here to bash anyone. Of course, at my age, I’m not going to perform like when I was 19. I’m not supposed to. It’s all about growth and ageing.”
Paul acknowledged a 44-year-old Mayweather isn’t the fighter he once was, but denied suggestions the boxing icon did his best to prolong the bout for the full eight rounds.
“Every little error I made, he capitalised on and I felt that immediately. It’s an honour. It’s an honour, but I can’t say that I wasn’t prepared,” Paul said. “He was a little slower than I expected, I imagine his age is finally kicking in a little bit. Father Time, even a specimen like Floyd Mayweather, I imagine he could feel it a little bit.
“You could tell when he turned it on a little bit. He blessed me with this opportunity and I’m happy about that and I don’t want to sit here after the fact and talk s**t. But I think his age finally came into play. I could see it. He was coming forward, he was putting the pressure on me and then he started breathing a little heavier around five and six. He stopped coming forward and I had a second wind.
“When you’re fighting a guy like Floyd, the legend, the boxer, you’re kind of relying on him to figure out the game plan and then just play off his. I think I got him with a good shot in that first round, which kind of threw him off a little bit and like, yeah, surviving against Floyd Mayweather is great.
“He’s my second opponent. Floyd Mayweather’s my second opponent. I’m happy. It’s good, it was good fun.”
Originally published as Conspiracy erupts over Floyd-Paul moment