Floyd Mayweather made his much-anticipated debut in a UK ring on Saturday night against Aaron Chalmers, a former Geordie Shore and British reality TV star.
However, despite the hype, the boxing bout failed to drum up much interest or attention, as evidenced by the near-empty O2 Arena.
Mayweather, known for his lucrative exhibitions since his retirement in 2017, appeared to take the occasion very casually as he toyed with his opponent for much of the eight-round outing. But it was painfully clear that the promoters failed to drum up requisite interest, as swathes of empty seats could be seen all around the arena.
Sportsmail revealed that a website called ShowFilmFirst, a known seat-filler site, was still trying to sell tickets for as little as $5.91 just hours before the bout. Their attempts to fill the arena came as the promoters tried to save face amid a lack of appetite among the British boxing public for the odd pairing.
It appears that the sport is at a crossroads with the number of exhibitions taking place and the money on offer for such. On Sunday night, notable YouTube personality Jake Paul is set to box Tommy Fury, a professional boxer, in Saudi Arabia.
Floyd making some quick bags for some sparring sessions. Can’t be mad at that🥊#MayweatherChalmers #boxing pic.twitter.com/mkyrqjQnf6
— CR (@A1Boxeo) February 25, 2023
Despite the lackluster attendance, Mayweather said after the bout that he had come to ‘entertain the people’. However, on the evidence of footage and photographs from the O2, it seems very few had been willing to be ‘entertained’ in the first place.
Another exhibition bout against an overmatched MMA fighter, another easy "win" for Floyd Mayweather. Floyd was just having fun out there. Congrats to Aaron Chalmers on showing up and getting a bag. #MayweatherChalmerspic.twitter.com/yxPvh9hbpG
— WG (@NvictusManeo) February 25, 2023
Mayweather toyed with his opponent for the eight rounds, and Chalmers said after that it would be an event to ‘tell the grandkids’ about. However, it is clear that the British boxing public was not as excited about the bout as the participants themselves.
Mayweather still has the moves 😂😂😂😂 #Boxing #MayweatherChalmers 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🥊🥊🥊🥊🥊🥊 pic.twitter.com/6cU9VEezn6
— Danny (@dantheboxingman) February 25, 2023
In conclusion, Mayweather’s exhibition bout with Chalmers failed to draw a crowd at the O2 Arena, and the event was marked by swathes of empty seats. The lack of interest from the British boxing public and the attempts to fill the arena with seat-fillers show that the sport is at a crossroads with the number of exhibition fights taking place and the money on offer for such events.
Since 2014, Benny A. King has been fully immersed in the world of combat sports. Starting with a blog about Greco Roman wrestling, Benny’s passion for combat sports has led him to explore various disciplines.