Are YouTubers ruining boxing?

(Photo: AFP)
(Photo: AFP)
With a fight between boxing legend Floyd Mayweather and YouTube star Logan Paul looming, some fans are asking whether the increasing number of celebrity exhibition bouts is reducing the sport to a carnival-style sideshow.اضافة اعلان

Sunday’s bout in Miami is expected to be a one-sided battle in favor of Mayweather (50-0) despite Paul (0-1) being about 23kg heavier, 15cm taller, and 18 years younger than 44-year-old Mayweather, a new grandfather.

But while purists and pros like Saul “Canelo” Alvarez say the trend is simply a dangerous money grab, some of the sport’s most influential names argue that the rising tide of interest lifts all boats.

“I’m a boxing historian,” Mike Tyson, the former heavyweight champion of the world, told Reuters.

“Boxing comes from the gutter,” he said, referring to its long history of controversies including his own infamous 1997 fight against Evander Holyfield, where he was disqualified for biting his opponent’s ear.

“So with YouTubers, anything anyone does with gloves on is paying homage to boxing,” Tyson said. “Boxing can’t go any lower than where it started.”

He said that anyone taking the risk of getting in the ring deserves respect. Still, Tyson does not give Paul much of a chance against Mayweather, who is widely considered one of the greatest fighters of all time.

“Floyd is going to kill this guy, man,” Tyson said with a laugh.

“Floyd stays in the gym, he’s never out of shape. He’s going to have so much fun winning this money.”

Mayweather, who is nicknamed “Money,” said he expects to make north of $50 million from the fight.

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