DORADO, Puerto Rico -- If there's one single message that brothers Logan and Jake Paul -- YouTube stars and social media influencers turned boxers -- have for retired pound-for-pound great Floyd Mayweather ahead of his June 6 bout against Logan, it's quite simple.
Mayweather (50-0, 27 KOs), who appears to be past the days of fighting elite professionals at age 44, has found himself an interesting new foil that fits his business model of putting on huge events with relatively low risk for giant sums of money.
The retired legend and five-division champion will come out of retirement yet again next weekend in an eight-round exhibition fight headlining a Showtime PPV at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. The 26-year-old Logan Paul (0-1) will have huge advantages in size, weight and youth but remains an understandable heavy betting underdog for this special attraction.
While Mayweather will be fighting Logan next Sunday night, the older brother to 24-year-old Jake (3-0, 3 KOs), the man known simply as "The Problem Child" is inextricably linked to this fight largely because of an incident at a press conference earlier this month in which Jake stole Mayweather's hat following a face-off and received a punch to the face for his efforts. Most believe Jake could be a future opponent for Mayweather regardless of the outcome against Logan.
Regardless, and for better or for worse, the Paul brothers have arrived as legitimate PPV brands within the world of traditional boxing and they don't appear to be going anywhere soon.
"MMA was kicking boxing's ass," Logan Paul told CBS Sports during an interview with Showtime cameras this week during training camp. "Now everyone is interested in boxing. The model is being replicated time and time again. You got Triller now, you got Social Gloves and just the weekend after our fight there is TikTokers and YouTubers fighting. Jake just got a deal with Showtime. At what f---ing point is it legit?
"Wake up and smell the coffee. We are here and we are here to stay."
Jake Paul, whose knockout streak as a professional includes YouTuber AnEson Gib, retired NBA guard Nate Robinson and retired MMA fighter Ben Askren, took it one step forward when asked whether he believes Mayweather respects their business and marketing acumen.
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"He has to," Jake Paul said. "That's why he is fighting my brother. Who else is Floyd going to fight that will sell millions of pay-per-views? He needs us more than we need him."
"There is zero validity to any of that," Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe told CBS Sports on Friday. "Imitation is the highest form of flattery, I always say that. I always say that! They have taken Floyd's blueprint and have been able to run with it and I applaud them for that. But to make any notion of Floyd needing them is really one of the dumbest comments that I have actually heard in quite some time."
The Paul brothers refer to themselves openly as disrupters within the traditional boxing game by referencing a recent study showing Generation Z's newfound interest with the sport. Much of that can be tied to the attention they brought over the last few years by leveraging audience across multiple social media platforms that includes a combined 43 million subscribers on YouTube alone between the brothers, who grew up in suburban Ohio.
"We are bringing in a new light and a new wave," Jake Paul said. "That's because of the YouTube celebrity boxing culture and us bringing Instagram and all of our followers over. It's all new people who are wanting to pay for fights who normally wouldn't have."
Although both brothers continue to turn out a constant stream of social media content that has made both incredibly wealthy, that doesn't mean both are taking their actual craft any less serious than they need to. Each has dedicated himself to the gym over the past three years while assembling separate teams of professional trainers and sparring partners in order to improve.
While Jake, admittedly, has much more of a passion to be taken seriously as a legitimate fighter, it's his older brother who almost seems to get his rocks off by constantly trolling the sport. Some of that is what Logan refers to as his natural ability to play an online character much dumber than his actual self. Either way, he's not necessarily aching for traditional boxing to respect him.
"I get it. I get it. We are here putting on a show and we are just getting started in boxing," Logan Paul said. "But this is the beginning of a very long career path for Jake and I. I would be surprised if people didn't have their doubts right at the beginning. But what happens in two years? What happens in three years when we are really good at this sport and we are beating professional boxers and are very skilled and really earning our respect in the sport? I don't know. People are going to shut up eventually but I get it for now.
"I mean, does [Mayweather] think I suck? The answer could be yes. There is nothing online that is exceptionally spectacular of me boxing. But in the past year and a half, we have got to a really, really, really good spot. I think on June 6, we are going to find out why there is weight classes in boxing. I'm not some guy going in there and tapping you. I ain't got pillow hands. I hit hard and I'm fast and I'm tall. I'm long and I'm strong. I'm angry and I want this shit."
Few believe Logan's advantages of 18 years in youth, six inches in height, four inches in reach and upwards of 45 pounds in weight will matter much once the two touch gloves. Only time will tell, of course.
But whether or not Jake adds himself in the future to Mayweather's long list of opponents who have tried and failed to hand him his first professional defeat (whether exhibition or not), Jake hopes the man known as "Money" realizes what a gift their presence is to Mayweather's brand status at the moment.
"[Mayweather] already did his time, no one really wants to see Floyd fight again unless it is something interesting," Jake Paul said. "We are the new young bucks with the new audience. Everyone in boxing already knows Floyd but these little young kids, they don't really care about Floyd or want to see him. His engagement is low. He is the champ-champ and best fighter of all-time, blah, blah, blah. How come he only gets 100K likes on a picture?
"He needs the relevancy of the new young bucks coming up in the game. But he's smart. Of course he is going to get involved. But he's stepping into our territory and playing our game."