Floyd Mayweather is nothing if not consistent.
“Money” advertises himself as a businessman. He’s all about his health and wealth, and he’s not going to risk neither. At this point, there’s no reason to take chances. Mayweather’s legacy as a great, undefeated champion is locked in place, and compared to the average pugilist with 50 professional fights, his career-long focus on defense has left him plenty fit.
Mayweather’s last three fights are unlike the first 49. If one is feeling generous, they could be described as a joke, but grift seems more accurate. That’s not really a knock on Mayweather, who advertised the fight as “legalized bank robbery.” Don’t get mad about depositing $49.99 into that bank after “Money” told ya what would happen.
Really, the only interesting narrative heading into this contest was how Mayweather would chose to operate. Would the elder boxer simply charge his bigger, content-creating foe and savagely score an immediate finish? Or would he play with his food and carry Paul into the later rounds?
For the non-delusional, that’s the same question that preceded Mayweather’s bouts with Conor McGregor and Tenshin Nasukawa. Provided one didn’t buy into the “MMA Angles” bullsh*t, the only suspense came from not knowing precisely how Mayweather would reign supreme.
It’s almost disturbing how similarly Mayweather ramped up his offense vs. McGregor and Paul. Against each man, Mayweather spent the first third of the fight mostly screwing around, slipping punches and maybe occasionally jabbing the body or timing a counter. Against Paul, he mostly looked giggly, liking considering his massive paycheck for a slow sparring match. Then, once his foe tired himself out, Mayweather turned it up and actually started throwing punches ... to great effect.
If you want to score a round or two for Paul/McGregor, that’s cool, but don’t think for a second it matters when Mayweather is playing the long game.
Really, the performance was almost an outright slap in the face to McGregor or at least anyone who seriously believes McGregor did something meaningful in their fight. Paul came in with no real combat sports experience and accomplished pretty much the same fight. He landed a couple punches (sort of) when Mayweather allowed him, then he was thoroughly outclassed. Is that all that different from McGregor’s run at the king?
The exception to this pattern is Nasukawa, who Mayweather pretty ruthlessly battered inside a round. The running theory is that Nasukawa landed a decent counter left hand early, and Mayweather decided to stop messing around until his opponent was in tears.
True to form, Mayweather seemed to respond to Paul’s aggression levels. If Paul was going to run away, flick jabs, and desperately clinch (see the last couple rounds), Mayweather wasn’t going to do all that much about it aside from occasional big swings and enough clean shots to win. On the rare occasions in the middle rounds where Paul did find a connection, Mayweather chewed him up immediately afterward.
That’s negative reinforcement at its best.
There are other lessons to be learned here — notably, that boxing is exhausting and that Logan Paul is a tougher than average person — but at some point, the viewing public has to catch on to this pattern. Mayweather isn’t going to destroy his next silly target unless it becomes necessary, and given this influx of celebrity boxers, that seems unlikely.
If people keep buying this showcases with considerable evidence as to what they should expect from “Money,” that’s on them.
For complete Mayweather vs. Paul results and play-by-play, click HERE!
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