On February 25, Floyd Mayweather was to continue his exhibition boxing career in the United Kingdom. He was announced to compete in an exhibition boxing match versus Muay Thai champion Liam Harrison.
Mayweather will turn 46 the day before the event. He has been debating doing an exhibition bout in the UK for some time, and it is officially scheduled.
Harrison is a 37-year-old native of Leeds with a career record of 90-25-2 (50 KO) in his sport. He has had a very distinguished career in Muay Thai. At best, the match will mirror Mayweather’s exhibition match for RIZIN in Japan. At worst, the bout will resemble one of Mayweather’s exhibitions from the Middle East, when he toyed with KSI’s brother the previous year.
The match was to take place at London’s O2 Arena.
Mayweather previously stated:
“A bout is planned in the UK for 2023. In February we’re looking forward to coming here and putting on an exhibition for the fans in the UK, because I’ve never had a chance to come over here and fight when I was actively boxing as a professional – so hopefully in February I’ll come over and do an exhibition if it’s possible.”
Mayweather’s exhibitions are sometimes referred to as “cashgrab” events by critics. Consequently, not everyone is content with them.
Mayweather stated: “I want to continue to help this sport grow, because without boxing I wouldn’t be where I’m at. But what’s also important to me is giving back to the sport of boxing and I will always give back to the sport of boxing. It’s a driving force to me.”
“I want everybody in the UK to have fun, come and enjoy the entertainment boxing brings. I’m proud of all these guys trying out in boxing, and thankful to everybody that’s been working on these events behind the scenes.”
But it wasn’t even hours after the announcement that Harrison had to nip the event in the bud.
“Many of you will have seen the announcement this morning about my fight against Floyd Mayweather.
Devastatingly, my knee just won’t allow it. Discussions about the fight started a few days ago with the Mayweather team and I honestly thought I would be ok in a boxing fight, even with needing surgery on my knee.
I upped my training as soon as discussions started and had some hard sparring and pads but almost immediately my knee had ballooned up and I can’t walk. Hitting pads is fine but the movement and agility needed to spar and especially fight just isn’t possible.
My surgeon is in agreement that this won’t be possible and I am absolutely heart broken. This fight and everything that would have come with it would have changed my life.
Furthermore, no contract for this had been received or signed. I’m exclusively contracted to ONE and I had approached them for permission and sign off. Without receipt of the contract and ONE’s review and approval of this, nothing was confirmed.
Floyd is the greatest boxer of all time and I would have wanted to put in a good account of myself. Not just for me but for the whole muaythai community…
I’m seriously flattered to have even be approached for this fight and I really think I could have done well in it. But, as things stand, I’m going to have to stick to my surgery next week,
I really hope when I’m recovered we can make this fight happen”
Mayweather has yet to react to the pull out.