I remember the circus; the acrobats, the ponies, the clowns… those marvellous clowns. Two clowns in fact, one was the most profitable boxer of the modern age, the other was a young Japanese kickboxing sensation, four inches shorter and some 30lbs lighter.
Japan has long had a history of fixed fights, from outright choosing the winner before the fight even happens, to putting sumo wrestlers in situations sumo wrestlers simply don’t belong, or perhaps most commonly, just giving the decision to Masato.
Floyd Mayweather vs Tenshin Nasukawa was indeed a fixed fight. An exhibition in Japan, boxer vs kickboxer, in a boxing match of course, with a 30lb weight discrepancy, and apparently legendary acting teacher Constantin Stanislavsky himself in Tenshin’s corner.
Floyd came out, bopped the hobbit on the head a few times, Tenshin did a few spins and it was all over. Criticism of this exhibition was rampant; after all, it really did look like Tenshin took a dive. Arguments against the fight being fixed were for the most part fairly logical.
Tenshin has nothing to lose, why would he throw the fight. It would look better on Rizin if he put on a good showing. This is a fair point. However, Tenshin fought 7 months later, severe concussions that send you flying a cross a boxing ring, spinning out of control, would in most cases call for at least a year off. Equally, it makes more sense for Tenshin to simply throw the fight rather than take real damage.
We don’t necessarily know what happened in that fight, but good news for us is the circus is back in town.
Floyd Mayweather is back boxing YouTube/Vine sensation Logan Paul. Paul was an internet darling, right up until he filmed a dead body in Japan’s infamous suicide forest and posted it onto YouTube. In the video, Paul laughs and jokes and attempts to make something of a point on seeking help rather than committing suicide. It’s a tone-deaf video, but perhaps the reality of coming face to face with a dead body while barely being in your 20s was simply too much for Paul to handle. Either way the video should not have been uploaded.
Paul became public enemy number 1 after this. The negative rub also stuck to his brother Jake Paul, who is embarking on a career as a professional boxer. Criticism of Jake Paul is rampant, ‘he hasn’t fought a boxer’, ‘he’s arrogant’, but if you can find me a 3-0 professional boxing prospect who HAS fought half decent competition, I’ll find you a liar.
Of course, fighting Jake Paul is not the smartest business move for Mayweather. Though Mayweather has far more experience than him, at the end of the day, Jake IS a boxer and a much larger one at that. Instead, Mayweather has booked himself a nice, 8 round, no winners no losers exhibition against Logan Paul, and the world has gone loony.
It’s no secret that the last decade of Floyd has been a farce. From a professional bout against an 0-0 boxer in Conor McGregor, to having the exact same referee and as many of the same judges he can each bout (making you wonder if there’s a conflict of interest), it seems as though Floyd wants to have his cake and eat it. To be both retired, and to be a fighter, but also not to risk his legacy while doing so.
The truth is, there isn’t much of a legacy to Floyd Mayweather, save for a few hyper zealous fans. He retired ‘undefeated’, though this is debatable, he had the highest PPVs sales of any boxer, yet he’s not really known. Those in the combat sports world know of him, those who are into sports know his name, but your Nan doesn’t. Unless your Nan is into boxing, in which case, go her.
Floyd wants his name to be up there with Muhammed Ali and Mike Tyson, he insists he is ‘better’ than both of them because he’s made more money than both of them, which is sort of silly because in their day people watched boxing on TV and EVERYONE watched it. However, as this one lady in a hairdressers eloquently points out… he’s just not as big a deal as he thinks he is:
This gives us a better insight into the machinations of Floyd’s mind, better than any fight can. Here he is, multi-millionaire, undefeated boxer, yet he’s positively triggered that some lady in Brixton doesn’t know or care who he is. Perhaps this is why he’s taking such a daft exhibition bout against Logan Paul. Unless Paul knocks him out, which is unlikely, though not impossible, Floyd gets to dance around a celebrity with a bit of boxing experience, in a desperate attempt to convince that lady in Brixton that he’s relevant.
Is this a Floyd hitpiece? Not really, although it is fun to make jokes at his expense. The issue is that boxing is in a place at the moment, where the biggest PPV draw in the sport, is having to take exhibition fights against non-boxers in order to stay relevant. Billy Joe Saunders fought a professional boxing match on the under card of an amateur bout between two YouTubers. We only hear about boxing when it’s a celebrity boxing match. I’ve heard more build up for the exhibition bout between Eddie Hall and Habfor Bjornnson than I have for world title fights.
Celebrity boxing matches aren’t a problem. They’ve existed for a long time, and they have their place, but right now we are living in a bizarro land where they are boxing. Hundreds of fights happen across the world each day, but the attention is now firmly on these exhibitions.
Tonight we see Floyd Mayweather face Logan Paul in yet another bout. Floyd is convinced that he is the A-side. The draw. The reason you come to see the fight, that might have been true when he fought professional boxers… but it doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.
I suppose if you can’t beat join them, so grab a bag of peanuts and let’s send in the clowns.