What many feared would happen earlier this year is about to go down as Floyd Mayweather begins the groundwork on his next Pay Per View venture.
The 43-year-old former pound for pound king has done what he always does by gauging his audience via social media.
A few months ago, initial rumors spread over the internet like wildfire. All of this was pre-planned by the Mayweather team.
Since then, Mayweather has been crunching the analytics. Counting the column inches to ensure a fight against a YouTuber is worth his while. Not to enhance his legacy, but to take home another hefty paycheck.
Judging by this week’s activity, it certainly was.
The WBN Fighter of the Decade is now name-dropping a vlogger on his feed and interacting. It’s stage two of the blueprint. While all the time, Mayweather’s number-crunching minds are keeping a firm eye to make sure everything the ‘Money’ man does is trending.
If this happens, then the green light will soon follow. At first glance, over the last 48 hours, this has been the case on every single occasion.
Conor McGregor has even got in on the act. The man who shared the ring in Mayweather’s previous experiment.
This difference, this time, is vast, though. This time around, Mayweather is planning to share the ring with a no-hoper who has never been able to compete in his life.
I mean, the presenter is probably in no severe danger at all as Mayweather probably won’t go for the jugular anyway. But giving away 50 pounds in weight is possibly the only way this clash even gets off the ground.
Heading down the rabbit hole and opening up his can of worms to worse for the sport, Mayweather is taking a step few would dare to tread. It’s a huge step.
The McGregor event, which sold over four million PPV’s, was the catalyst for YouTubers to get involved in boxing in the first place. So who knows what will happen in the coming years.
Rather than catering to a combat audience, as always previously, Mayweather is branching out and heading as far away from real boxing fans as he could.
Teenage YouTube watchers will be the selling point for this one and may see other stars of our sport follow suit – if successful.
Floyd Mayweather doesn’t mind being the guinea pig for all this either. He knows he’s guaranteed a victory. And a nine-figure purse before the first bell rings.
The scary thought is where boxing is left once inexperienced YouTubers can no longer command any real bums on seats after the novelty wears off.
It will certainly be a case of being chewed up and spat back out. Real fans will take the hit.
Plus, real boxers will find it more difficult to attract promoters without a significant social media following. We will surely see more and more boxers taking to YouTube to emulate the formula – but with the actual boxing talent to back it up.
That could be the future as we know it as Mayweather gets ready to open Pandora’s Box with no turning back.
The views expressed in this article are that of the Editor, Phil Jay. WBN celebrated its 10th Anniversary on August 1st, 2020. WBN is the top-visited independent boxing news website in the world.
Phil Jay is an Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay