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The Fights

This Boxing Match In The Rain Was The Perfect Undercard Bout For Paul/Mayweather

Two boxers fight on a slippery ring.
Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Floyd Mayweather boxed Logan Paul on Sunday night in an eight-round exhibition. It was not a very good fight. To pick one example I found particularly funny, Mayweather threw just 14 jabs, landing 7; in 2018, CompuBox calculated Mayweather averaged 18 jabs a round. Anyway the bout went the 8-round distance and ended with a chorus of boos; Mayweather landed either 0 or 1 good shots, depending on your taste.

Chad Johnson also had a four-round exhibition, got back up after he was knocked down, then gave a speech telling everyone to follow their dreams. Whatever. The whole PPV was lame and embarrassing, but I enjoyed plenty of it as a result. My favorite fight last night was one of the six actual, sanctioned bouts on the docket at Miami’s football stadium. Luis Arias beat Jarrett Hurd, the former light middleweight champion, by split decision at middleweight. Hurd was favored in the fight, so it was a bit of an upset. It was also both an exciting fight and a complete disaster.

It started normally enough. Hurd bloodied up Arias in the early rounds, but Arias was the clear aggressor; he landed solid shots to end both the first and second rounds. Four rounds in, it seemed like Arias was cruising to an upset. But Hurd fought back! He won the middle rounds as Arias tired, and suddenly we had a fight. Hurd lost a point in the sixth when he hit Arias with two low blows. The first was borderline. The second was just a direct shot to the dick and balls.

Of course, I would not be writing about a real boxing match on the undercard of a fake boxing match if it were just a particularly entertaining fight, GIF-worthy low blow or not. I’m writing about it because midway through the fight it started raining. Pouring, in fact. Miami’s football stadium has a roof, but it’s more like a big awning. The rain was coming down in such a way that it started to hit the ring. Fans swiftly disappeared from ringside. The referee delayed the match because ice—or maybe hail?—was somehow in the ring. He kicked it away. The ring remained slippery. The ref stopped the match again to wipe it all up.

The ref wipes up a wet dollar sign logo in the center of the ring.

The fighters continued sliding around. Hurd got the only knockdown of the fight when Arias appeared to slip on the mat. Afterwards, the fighters appeared to begin boxing around the giant, slippery dollar sign logo for a mobile payments app in the center of the ring. This was how the home stretch of the bout played out: two professional fighters on the undercard of a retired boxer (50-0 career record) and an Internet personality (0-1 career record), just trying their best to get to the end of their match by avoiding the giant green dollar sign. As a metaphor, it was a little too on the nose.

The fight ended about as perfectly as it could: Hurd actually appeared to get a knockdown as the fight ended—but the referee ruled it was either a slip or after the bell, and the judges ruled it a split-decision win for Arias.

A knockdown but it wasn't ruled one

“Everyone was talkin’ about that I ain’t shit, and look at how my fights are, I just talk, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,” Arias said in a post-fight interview, while wearing a t-shirt for a personal injury law firm. (He was 0-2-1 in his previous three fights.) “And I came in here… and edged a decision. Props to Jarrett Hurd—he fought a great fight, and honestly, you coulda had me out. I was, like, buzzed. If you woulda found a way, I probably definitely woulda went down. That knockdown was bullshit, though, that don’t count. But the other ones, you had me.… People close to me were telling me to get a job, to quit boxing. And I’m here. I just beat a former champion.”

To a dork like me, this whole spectacle was almost worth the PPV price itself.