The world of social media creators and the realm of professional boxing came together on Sunday, June 6 when YouTube personality Logan Paul went toe to toe with boxing megastar Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
It was an exhibition boxing match where both men were expected to walk home with a huge payoff. According to SportingFree, Mayweather would receive $10 million just for showing up while Paul would get a smaller guaranteed payout at $250,000.
Both would be entitled to a share of the $49.95 per user pay-per-view sales – Mayweather getting 50 percent of the PPV and Paul 10 percent. None of these figures are officially confirmed yet.
Paul was not banking only on the event’s direct earnings though. The Fintech company Current sponsored his pre-match video released on Saturday, June 5.
The pre-match video sponsorship included a $10,000 cash giveaway to Paul’s fans, something made possible by the platform Current provides for creators to connect directly – and give cash directly – to fans.
To participate, fans must enter his unique Current code “LOGAN” at sign-up and have a Current banking account.
Current was featured on Paul’s walk-out robe on fight night. This sponsorship was not the first time Current and Paul were working together.
The match was important not just because of who was involved and how much money would be made but also the trend it represented.
Like Paul, a growing number of social media creators are expanding their work and interests beyond their traditional social media sphere. This is creating new monetization opportunities as creators test new frontiers and grow their reach.
Paul himself already has a fight offer from Tyson Fury that would have Fury’s and Paul’s brother battle on the undercard. While he has so far declined, there is no telling whether he will stick to that decision following the financial success of his fight with Mayweather.
Back to the bout, first things first – the fight was never going to have an ‘official winner’. The Florida State Boxing Commission had announced no official decision would be read out at the fight’s end nor would there be any judges.
However, the referee could stop the match at any moment including if either man was knocked out. That meant even without an official decision, there was plenty of room for bragging rights.
Mayweather came to the fight with a spotless record (50-0) and it seemed unthinkable he could ‘lose’ to a rookie. Paul may have been the clear underdog but he had a sizable height (six inches taller), reach (four inches longer), weight (nearly 50 pounds heavier) and age (18 years younger) advantage.
All of these could have caused problems for ‘The Money Team’ man. In any case, Paul was not really new to combat sports. He was a standout high school wrestler and football player.
Still, Mayweather, retired and aged 44, was always the overwhelming favorite. The key question would be on how well Paul’s untested chin could withstand the relentless punching of a world-class professional boxer.
So how did it go down?
In the post-fight interview, Mayweather suggested that Paul was fighting to survive. And he was probably right. Paul appeared fairly fatigued by the middle of the contest. Still, fans who were looking forward to a knockout were likely disappointed because that didn’t happen. Just staying on his feet could be interpreted as a victory for Paul given the spectacular resume of his opponent.
As expected, Mayweather dominated virtually all rounds from a point-scoring perspective. He landed 43 blows on the night compared to Paul’s 28. Nevertheless, both men seemed content with getting to the end of the eight round, maybe to give the audience their money’s worth or entice fans with the possibility of a lucrative rematch.
At 44, Mayweather was quick to admit after the fight that he was not the same man in the ring Sunday that he was at his peak in competitive bouts. He has had a steady decline since his retirement from professional boxing.
Paul getting through the match will give inspiration to other social media creators not necessarily to try their hand at boxing but in utilizing their talents and reach in areas outside their social media space.
Pay Per View Numbers
Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Logan Paul drew around 1 million pay-per-view buys on Showtime, according to Sportico.
That figure would correlate to more than $50 million in PPV revenue alone before the live gate revenue is calculated from Hard Rock Stadium.
“Perhaps equally important for Showtime, Sunday was the network’s biggest day of new subscriptions since its Showtime Streaming Service launched in 2015, according to the person, who was granted anonymity because the numbers are private,” the report said.
Sportico called the PPV buys a “strong number” but didn’t indicate whether it came in above or below what the involved parties were expecting.