Mayweather-Paul brings something for everyone’s varied appetites

Jay Dieffenbach

Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. and Logan Paul meet Sunday night in Miami, delivering a range of supply to meet a diversity of demand. The event is what you make it.

Mayweather, the boxing legend, built a 50-0 mark during his career and is among the wealthiest athletes in the universe. He made his cash the old fashioned way but, with alimony likely in the multi-millions, continues to seek additional revenue streams.

Paul is the new-age earner: a YouTube guy with a modicum of athleticism but who, more importantly, cultivated a fierce following of fans who have made him quite wealthy, too.

Both are businessmen as well, with Mayweather an investor in Stardam Images, a platform that uses licensed clips of celebrities to amplify digital advertising, according to Forbes.

Let’s not confuse this event as a “real fight,” however.

As of Tuesday, legal sportsbooks in the U.S. have not and are not planning to take any action on the get-together.

“I’m sorry to say it’s a non-competitive exhibition and the fight will not get the approvals needed to take action on it,” DraftKings director of race and sportsbook operations Johnny Avello told TheLines. “We will, however, be taking action on other fights that are on the card.”

It is, however, a marketing and money-making pursuit.

Stardam CEO Connor Kroll told Forbes this unique matchup is a new-revenue driver.

“This fight brings a new kind of viewer to the sport,” he said, “and advertisers that have never looked to combat sports in the past are now willing to invest in the unique audience expected to tune in Sunday night.

“As CEO of Stardam we feel we are at the forefront of efficiency in influencer marketing. It has been incredible to see the millions of dollars brands are funneling in to capture the massive web traffic associated to these streamed exhibitions.”

In addition to the obvious marketing opportunities, here are three disparate demand categories, and just what this Showtime per-view event at Hard Rock Stadium could deliver to each.

The demand for basic combat

Paul is not exactly a seasoned fighter. He’s had only one professional fight, which he lost to another Youtuber, KSI, in 2019.

Mayweather counts boxing icons Manny Pacquiao, Saul Alvarez and Oscar De La Hoya among his 50 conquests.

But you know who also is unbeaten? Father Time.

And Mayweather, at 44, is conceding 18 big years to his opponent. There’s a touch of intrigue: a great fighter with the handicap of advancing age vs. the wanna-be boxer who, in addition to the age factor, owns size among his attributes.

It’s a classic bar argument: I bet my guy – in his mid-40s – is still better than your guy in his prime.

Now, since a burgeoning market has been created for these sorts of exhibitions, people are willing to pay to make it happen – to watch as the spectacle plays out.

The demand for a wagering opportunity

So, you can’t wager legally with U.S. sportsbooks? Americans have found their way around that obstacle for centuries.

The offshore and overseas odds found this week on the fight are generally stacked against the prospects of any success for Paul, even though some reports from last weekend indicated bets for Paul to beat Mayweather accounted for 56% of all wagers for the fight.

Offshore and overseas, Mayweather is anywhere from -900 to -1200, while Paul affords his backers odds from +500 to +800.

The breakdown 
Mayweather is 5'8″ with a reach of 72″ and last fought at 153 pounds. 
Paul is 6'2″ with a reach of 76″ and weighed almost 200 pounds at the time of his 2019 fight, which he lost on points after six rounds. 
Early in his career, Mayweather ended things early. But that trend slipped as Mayweather aged, and “Money” went the distance in 12 of his final 15 matches. 
Mayweather also has fought an exhibition fight, defeating Japan’s then-undefeated kick boxer Tenshin Nasukawa.  

As for wagering strategies, Mayweather himself has an opinion.

In a promotional video released Monday, he guaranteed an ending before the final bell after the eighth and final (scheduled) round.

"This fight will not go the distance, I promise. Bet on it," Mayweather said in an exclusive interview with sportsbook BetOnline, adding that he will not be knocked down during the match.

But he believes his opponent’s destination is assured.

"Will Logan Paul hit the canvas? Absolutely, bet all of your money on it," Mayweather chirped.

The demand for pre-fight hype and any accompanying narratives

Those charged with promoting the fight are the real pros here.

Mayweather last month called both Logan and his brother, Jake, “fake fighters” and offered to take on both on the same night.

“I don’t have to talk about what I’m going to do. The world knows what I’m going to do,” Mayweather said. “I’m willing to fight both in the same night.”

Jake Paul is a social media influencer who knocked out former NBA star Nate Robinson and dispatched UFC fighter Ben Askren last month – even though Askren looked like a “bag of milk,” according to some amateur analysts.

But it was Jake who took off Mayweather’s cap during a press event last month.

Mayweather took the bait (however serious he was about it), and is reportedly very, very, very angry.

Showtime Sports president Stephen Espinoza, who obviously has an interest in the financial success of this exhibition, offered a serious-sounding appraisal of Mayweather’s mood.

“I have never seen him that angry, not even in the McGregor press tour when it was very personal,” Espinoza told the Daily Express. “It was not arranged or pre-planned by Floyd or his team. I think Jake very much had it pre-planned and capitalized in his own unique way – from the tattoo to the merchandise to everything he made out of it.

“From Floyd, I think that in some of the same way that the McGregor press tour changed the perception of that event, it went from being a circus to realizing there’s real animosity there. (The Jake incident) has layered on a little more motivation for both sides.

“Floyd felt disrespected. He was very angry. He’s not that good an actor, to be quite honest, to show that level of wrath on command for something he wasn’t really angry about, so very much so it angered him.”

So, there you go. A juicy narrative to be paired with what its stakeholders hope will be an engaging exhibition.

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