Floyd Mayweather boxed for 16 minutes in London.
The 50-0 hall of famer didn’t get the chance to fight in the UK as a professional, so he brought his exhibition show on the road and touched down at the O2 Arena to check that box as well as – much, much more importantly – make money.
On the undercard, heavyweight Christopher Lovejoy split his shorts and then took a ten count to lose an exhibition to Antonio Zepeda. He was recently calling out some of the top UK contenders – if that happens it’ll be a real shame.
After a genuinely embarrassing co-main event between two American reality stars, it was time to see the ‘Money’ man. He celebrated his 46th birthday this week, and skipped the weigh in on that day.
Pre-fight, he said he wanted to entertain the local fans, but one look at the crowd told you his use of the plural was reaching a little. It was sparse.
Not exactly a sellout crowd for Floyd Mayweather's UK exhibition fight vs Aaron Chalmers at the O2 Arena tonight… pic.twitter.com/I14kbq4KwQ
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) February 25, 2023
Aaron Chalmers was a late replacement for this main event. He’s known best for being a part of the cast of MTV’s Geordie Shore, but has had an MMA run and one win in a boxing ring since then.
Despite the reported £32, the pay-per-view on the night cost £24.88. Unfortunately, the final numbers will likely never be reported. In a promo before the main event, Mayweather said he didn’t know his opponent’s name. The musician who performed in the ring did so with his microphone beside his hip for most of the song.
Then came the national anthems, because why not at this point? Six (previously billed as eight) two-minute rounds began. Mayweather connected with some eye-catchers in the first. Chalmers didn’t. The commentary team reeled off his big name professional victories likely to try and hype this up but only serving to make it more melancholic.
Second same. Third again. Mayweather jab. Chalmers miss. To his credit, the Brit didn’t take a step back and his style likely did help Mayweather showcase some shots. In the fifth, he started showboating – that’s Mayweather, to be clear. He danced with the ring girl before the final round.
It changed back to eight rounds. ‘Who’s going to complain at extra rounds?’ asked the broadcast. Dangerous question.
It’s hard to tell if Floyd thinks this period of his career is Harlem Globetrotters-esque – and it probably could be with the right amount of work and opponent – but this promotion was not it.
The fight was billed ‘Royal Pain’, but nobody told the fans it would be inflicted on them. If Mayweather isn’t planning on ending the exhibitions soon, he should seriously consider it. Bring on the real boxing – Jake Paul and Tommy Fury…