There might be a few uncomfortable truths whispered in the boxing circles on Monday when the gyms open, a few wide-eyed admissions perhaps.
Logan Paul, the YouTuber, did okay against Floyd Mayweather.
He didn’t beat the all-time great. He might not beat anyone ever. But he did alright, and it’s a lot better than his legions of detractors expected.
There were plenty of moments when Mayweather ushered Paul towards the exit door, held it ajar and awaited for this obnoxious kid who doesn’t belong to saunter through. But Paul refused those moments.
Exhausted, uncomfortable and having taken a few proper punches to the ribs and face, he gamely survived the longest nine minutes of his life.
For that alone, this intruder to the sport requires a newfound respect.
Mayweather, of course, is now a 44 -year-old grandfather who admitted beforehand to not training or taking this exhibition seriously. But the gulf in ability was so large that a Paul victory in a traditional rule-set would have been the biggest upset in sport ever, surely.
Mayweather, maybe, was not desperate to end the young man’s hopes with a knockout but there were genuine moments where he threw his fists with vicious intent.
He has done one of these exhibitions before and flattened the opponent three times in a first-round KO.
The Paul brother phenomenon could have taken a major setback on Sunday night in Miami but look a little closer.
They are internet superstars based on notoriety not relatability – Logan’s fame exploded after his most controversial video and his younger brother Jake now revels as the bad-guy.
Capitalising on the dislike of fans was a trick that nobody has perfected more than Mayweather.
The Paul brothers are here to stay and that is a bitter truth for the purist who wants them gone forever.
Logan and Jake are two of boxing’s most watched attractions at the moment – fellow fighters won’t take many tips from their skills, but they could take a lot from the brothers’ marketability.
Jake, feistier than his older brother and a better boxer too, will carry the baton forward. He has won all three of his fights by knockout, has beaten an MMA veteran in Ben Askren and will face a former UFC champion in Tyron Woodley next.
What level of opponent must fall before Jake gets kudos for being half-decent?
Perhaps Tommy Fury? The younger brother of Tyson Fury, who found fame on Love Island, has been baiting Jake. That would be a fight of incredible social media reach but ask yourself: would Jake have beaten most of Tommy’s six opponents so far?
He had the temerity to call out Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez on Sunday. He also thought his brother beat Mayweather. Two shouts most kindly described as bold.
For now, Mayweather will count his latest wad of cash and smile to himself. The winner of several of boxing’s most lucrative fights has done it again. Now 44 and a grandfather, what next? Finally, a quiet life?
He will be looking at Jake, the next Paul brother, and maybe plotting his next exhibition outing.
The revenge plot is already there – both sides will immediately recognise that. Such understanding is a precious commodity in this sport which Mayweather knew, and the Pauls now understand.
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