Mike and his “Legends Only” brand have, along with Mayweather and YouTubers, been bringing extra eyes onto the sport. But is it a good or bad thing?
Iron Mike’s latest thoughts on the current state of the professional boxing industry may not sit well with many within the profession.
Mike, 54 years old, last year made a surprising return to the ring, albeit in a non-competitive exhibition setting, against fellow all-time great Roy Jones Jr. The spectacle peformed superbly at the box office in unison with another sideshow attraction, the latest fight of YouTube star Jake Paul.
With Mike set to continue his “Legends Only” exhibitions, other retired stars such as Evander Holyfield getting in on the fact and Jake’s brother Logan Paul facing 50-0 boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. next month, these events continue to overshadow and outperform traditional, ranked boxing — much to the chagrin of key industry figures.
But on a recent edition of his podcast, Hotboxin’, boxing legend Mike claimed many of the critics of these shows are overcome by the ‘green-eyed monster’.
“These guys make boxing so awesome,” said boxer. “The boxers, the real champions, they don’t have that many views. They’ll be happy if they have a million views.
“These guys are 80 million views. I was like, ‘God damn, man. How do you do that?,'” Mike said.
“That’s why everybody wants to kill them, because they see this little white guy, blonde hair, blue eyes, getting all the f—ing money, talking all this s—. Everybody wants to kill them. I get envious when I see these guys, I’m like, ‘What the f— are they doing?’ That’s why you want to kick his ass because you get envious of them, it’s easy to hate these guys.”
Nobody expects Logan Paul to stand a chance against Mayweather on June 6, but the exhibition is set to be witnessed by a ton of viewers.
“Listen, Floyd’s a better fighter than all of those guys right now. Floyd right now, even though he’s 40-something, he’s still better than all the fighters now and he’s still fighting a YouTuber. And making more money than the champions are making,” said former champion Iron Mike.