Phineas Taylor Barnum, he of the circuses, the menageries and museums of freaks, and widely credited with coining the phrase, 'there's a sucker born every minute," would have loved this smoke and mirrors attempt to sell this fight as entertainment and spectacle under the banner 'Bragging rights'. "I am a showman", he was won't to say, and all the gilding shall make nothing less of me". His fierce critics were apt to spit at the mention of his name, decrying the fact that his sole aim in life was, 'to put money in his own coffers.' Barnum could care less who spat in his direction, or who had the 'bragging rights', his pockets were now lined with dollar bills.
In similar fashion, we can imagine Floyd 'Money' Mayweather and Logan Paul waking up the day after their eight round draw, with minimal bruising, ignoring the shouted opprobrium of 'fix' reigning down on their heads, and firing up a couple of big, fat stogies as they set about counting the pay per view takings (over 1m at $49.99), thinking: wow, we just pulled off a big one here, didn't we?
Of course, if you are Josh Taylor and the week before you became the undisputed super lightweight champion of the world, taking back all the belts that money can't buy back to his modest home in the small fishing village of Prestonpans, East Lothian, Scotland, you might be more than a little miffed.
Especially if your unification fight to make Scottish boxing history was ignored by all the major sports networks in preference for a manufactured contest between a 5'6, 10 stone 44 year old retired boxer and a 6'2, 14 stone Youtuber 16 years his junior. An unsanctioned contest for no belts or glory, with no scoring or judging fought over a shorter distance.
Mayweather promotions is the modern day Barnum who 'sold' this match up to the networks and didn't do their coffers any harm either. But should we be surprised that 'Money' spotted an opportunity to sell an event, to make an exhibition of himself, should we even care? Mayweather himself said, it was 'legalised robbery' that he just couldn't turn down. Obviously the 5-0 man could resist anything except temptation to partake in a turkey shoot with a piece of cake.
As the boos rang around the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, and record numbers demanded their money back as the contest ended after eight uneventful, and it has to be said, very boring, rounds of boxing exhibition, in a vacuous draw, there was only the bravura of the heist to reflect upon. The open mouthed realisation that it took just 32 minutes to make an entrance, do the stick up, and get gone.
Outside the ring, the ticker tape deluge littered the vast arena, the field of hot dog cartons lay strewn, abandoned, the glitzy lights, turned off, and eventually everyone went home, leaving the last men standing: a small coterie of people who made bank.
The crowd had paid their money to come and see the freaks. But what did they really expect, The bearded lady v The Siamese twins? That would have been something, right?
No. This was what it always was, sleight of hand and money over fist. Nothing to see here, No contest.
Purely and simply put, this was a golden opportunity to herd the circus crowd into the boxing booth, and hit them with a sucker punch.