Who could imagine five years ago that a former elite boxer like Floyd mayweather was “fighting” in a ring before a influencer from social networks like Logan paul?
I’m sure less than 1 percent thought about it. And even worse, I think that no one, not a single one, could have imagined that an EXHIBITION fight could generate MILLIONAIRE earnings for both “fighters”.
Well yes, gentlemen. That just happened last Sunday, when the former champion in five divisions, Floyd Mayweather Jr, he faced the youtuber Logan paul.
According to unofficial reports, it is said that Floyd he was guaranteed a bag that is close to 30 million already Paul, close to 15. It is incredible this form of boxing, as a “jujuiser” with a professional record of (0-1), can win millions in an exhibition fight. The thing is, will the influx of influencers be good for boxing? And the answer should be, why not?
Does it bring you more audience?
Will it attract a new fan base?
Will there be billboards with more entertainment content than just fights?
Will more sponsorships come and therefore more money for those who participate in the event?
The answer to all of this is yes. Definitely, this type of spectacle is lately changing boxing and therefore, the puritans of the sport will not see it with good eyes.
But the reality is that if they do a hybrid, where in world-class billboards, they put one or two exhibition matches or celebrities, that will attract new fans. That type of casual fan who only knows youtubers and when they see what boxing is, make them fall in love with the sport.
And if we go even further, imagine if any of these influencers manages to come out a good fighter and win a world title. With this, the number of children between 10 and 14 years old would be enormous, looking for boxing gyms to learn how to box.
The phenomenon of all this is that, personally, I heard two young men ask each other if they saw the fight of Logan against the boxer. In other words, that generation for whom one of the best boxers in history, like Floyd mayweather, is a true stranger. It is simply, “the boxer” whose name they could not even mention.
Anyway, I think that for better or for worse, creating characters on social networks that generate millions of “visits” may be more cost-effective for broadcasters and promoters. And they are the ones who risk the money to finance boxing, and for whom it could be very seductive to sign celebrities with many followers, than Olympic medalists.
*The author, DAMIÁN FERRER, it is The Boxing Philosopher, and you can follow him on his Facebook page.