This may come as no surprise to anyone, but it needs to be said just the same -the Jake Paul vs Mayweather fight did absolutely nothing for the sport of boxing. It did everything else except elevate the sport.
Now that the dust has settled, we can now look back and ponder if the bout had any meaning in a larger context or was it nothing more than a vulgar cash grab?
Boxing used to mean something. As a teen in the 80s, my dad would ask me to sit down and watch on tv the now legendary names in boxing. Hearns, Leonard, Hagler. Roberto “Next Time, I’ll Kill You” Duran. I didn’t know who the names were, nor was I interested in boxing at all. Hanging out with your dad watching boring fights rather than being out with friends was, and still is, the social kiss of death for a 15 year old. But as I begrudgingly watched these soon to be legendary bouts with my father and hearing him talk about these fighters, I eventually understood. Being in the ring was like life. It was about dedication, discipline, and hardwork. You may get knocked out trying, but you pick yourself up and try again.
I now have a teenage son of my own. Every now and then I’m tempted to make him sit down with me and watch on fight night but I know better. Like me when I was his age, he has no interest in boxing. He’d rather be out skateboarding with his friends. He would sometimes come home battered and bruised. Like any other parent I worry about him, but I know he is learning better values in skateboarding than staying at home with me watching a fight between a so-called “celebrity” and a businessman with “money” as his moniker.
The marketing geniuses responsible for Jake Paul and Mayweather accomplished what they set out to do and made tons of money for a handful of people. It was a carefully laid-out business proposition, its success predetermined, like a rigged chess match. It was a dirty fight before the first punch was even thrown.