Fight Talk: Is Floyd Mayweather 'ruining legacy' with exhibition bouts?

By Kal SajadBBC Sport
Floyd Mayweather Jr

Is Floyd Mayweather "ruining his legacy"? That's one fighter's accusation as the pound-for-pound great considers exhibition bouts against rapper 50 Cent and YouTubers Jake and Logan Paul. Fight Talk delves into the gossip.

There's focus on the heavyweights too as Daniel Dubois plans his return to boxing, Joe Joyce confirms he's close to signing a fight with Oleksandr Usyk and Derek Chisora plans to settle unfinished business with Joseph Parker.

And, in something of a twist, former super-middleweight champions Carl Froch and George Groves reminisce like old pals on their once bitter rivalry.

Mayweather plans four exhibition bouts in 2021

Floyd Mayweather Jr has an unblemished professional record of 50 wins, is a 15-time world champion in five weight divisions and is arguably the greatest self-promoter of the modern era.

Like him or loathe him, it's hard to question Mayweather's ability and achievements.

The 43-year-old retired from the sport after his 2017 victory over Ireland's UFC star Conor McGregor - in what was one of the most lucrative fights in boxing history.

But the American caused a stir this week after saying he wants four exhibition bouts in 2021, against YouTubers Logan and Jake Paul, an unnamed Japanese opponent and … rapper 50 Cent.

Mayweather was scheduled to fight Logan, 25, at the end of this month but the exhibition has been postponed.

Meanwhile Jake, the younger of the Paul brothers, has two professional wins - over fellow YouTuber AnEsonGib and former NBA basketballer Nate Robinson.

The 24-year-old couldn't help having a little bite back at Mayweather's challenge in the form of a poem.

Posted on Instagram, Jake's verse went like this: "Do us a favour and stay off social media. You should focus on learning to read, retirement or maybe an encyclopaedia.

"You call me out to fight, but you're half my height. You might beat my brother but Jake Paul is a different type."

Nobody is suggesting Jake's words are on par with Muhammad Ali's lyrical brilliance, but it did seem to impress Britain's former UFC star Michael Bisping…

Michael Bisping on Twitter: "Got to be honest. Starting to like this guy."

Jake is set to take on ex-UFC fighter Ben Askren, in a boxing bout, in April.

And things started to get out of hand when Askren also put his own name in the mix for Mayweather…

Askren soon clarified that he was joking. Attempting humour on Twitter doesn't always work out as intended.

'Floyd man, you're ruining your legacy'

Mayweather has surprised a few people by seeking out money-making exhibition bouts.

But - after a stellar career that included wins over Oscar de la Hoya, Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto, Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez and Manny Pacquiao - has he earned the right to fight who he wants?

Unified lightweight world champion Teofimo Lopez didn't hold back when asked the question.

"Floyd, man, you're ruining your legacy," American Lopez told Sirius XM Boxing.

"It's a damn shame to see it all happen like that. I love Floyd, man. I looked up to him."

Perhaps surprisingly, given they can usually be quite dismissive of these exhibition bouts, most boxing fans are siding with Mayweather on this one…

Boxing fans on Twitter don't think Mayweather is ruining his legacy, with one fan saying "let the man still make his money without sacrificing his health"

Dubois 'back with a vengeance'

Less than three months ago, heavyweight Daniel Dubois was considered one of the hottest prospects in world boxing.

But all that changed after the 23-year-old lost to fellow Briton Joe Joyce in November.

Dubois suffered a broken eye socket and retinal bleeding during the fight, but has now announced he is clear to return to the sport after successful surgery...

According to the Mail,external-link Dubois is also set to appoint Mark Tibbs - who used to train British heavyweight Dillian Whyte - as his new coach.

Joyce-Usyk nearly signed & Chisora wants Parker

While Dubois looks to rebuild his career, Joyce is close to signing a fight with Ukraine's former cruiserweight king Oleksandr Usyk for the interim WBO heavyweight title.

"It's looking like April, negotiations seem to be going well," Joyce told BT Sport. "Looks like the fight is lining up nicely and it's almost confirmed."

Usyk was last in action when he beat Derek Chisora on points in November.

We didn't know if that was the last we'd see of 37-year-old Chisora - but the Londoner says he has unfinished business...

Chisora was meant to face former world champion Joseph Parker in October 2019 but the fight was called off because the New Zealand heavyweight was ill.

Froch-Groves III on the cobbles

They had one of the most fierce British rivalries in recent years but Carl Froch and George Groves appear to be good buddies these days.

Froch controversially stopped Groves in the ninth round in November 2013, before a more convincing eighth-round knockout six months later in front of 80,000 fans at Wembley.

The fights were just as memorable for the build-up, with the infamous verbal exchanges and head-to-heads.

Almost seven years later, Groves appeared on the Fighting with Froch podcast last week as the pair reminisced on those two fights and even hinted at a possible third fight...

Froch-Groves III? They're not serious... I don't think.

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