A weekend of exhibition bouts ended in somewhat of a farce, as Floyd Mayweather danced and laughed his way through the majority of his clash with Deji before claiming a stoppage victory in the sixth round.
On Saturday night boxing fans were treated to a taste of nostalgia as Ricky Hatton entered the ring one last time, with both the Briton and his legendary opponent, Marco Antonio Barrera, having their hands raised as the eight-round exhibition went the distance.
Mayweather’s latest match-up was less poetic, as the 50-0 all-time great shared the ring with 1-3 YouTuber Deji – real name Oladeji Olatunji – with the contest waved off at the first sign of his opponent’s distress at the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai.
Floyd Mayweather stopped YouTuber Deji in the sixth-round of their exhibition bout in Dubai
The pair embraced following the stoppage, which was deemed by most as much too early
The wait for the fight ended up taking longer than the bout itself, with Mayweather and Deji making their ring-walks shortly after 1.30am for an exasperated Dubai crowd, following a dispute reportedly over the size of their gloves.
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A certain Jake Paul, who clashed furiously ringside with Tommy Fury and his father John beforehand, took to social media to insist Mayweather was refusing to fight while he was ringing
In a sign of intent that rather summed up the clash, Deji prior to the bout outlined his less than lofty ambitions, insisting his goal was to land a single blow on the 45-year-old veteran.
The 25-year-old did in fact manage to land a significant blow of sorts, one which left marking underneath the left eye of the legendary figure.
Mayweather, whose legacy was secured well before his 2017 retirement, leaving the pro game having won 15 world titles across five weight classes following his stoppage win over Conor McGregor, added another reported circa £28million to his bank account for his troubles.
Mayweather laughed and danced his way through the majority of the exhibition bout
The 45-year-old signalled his intent from the opening second, keeping his hands firmly by his side, immediately toying with the YouTuber and holding no regard for anything that could possibly come back.
The vast difference in class between the two was immediately evident, with Mayweather simply feinting and moving in and out of range at ease, Deji a sitting duck waiting for his eventual fait.
The Dubai crowd were clearly siding with the YouTuber, and Mayweather too joined the chorus of ‘come on Deji’ during a one-sided but ultimately farcical second round.
Deji, 25, managed to land a shot of note in the fourth, creeping through the guard of Mayweather, the evidence left behind in the shape of marking below his left eye. In fact, in a brief role-reversal, Mayweather required treatment while Deji did pushups between round
Deji insisted before the fight that his one goal was to land a punch, which the YouTuber did
Indeed, the event was somewhat of a joke for Mayweather, but it’s a moment that will live in the memory of Deji for the rest of his life.
Mayweather decided to go to work in the sixth, however, and the referee quickly called a halt to what was, in truth, perhaps not worth the wait.
Speaking after the bout, Mayweather insisted he was pleased Deji landed his shot. ‘I’m glad he landed a good shot – this is a part of entertainment,’ he said. ‘You’re a hell of a fighter and competitor… keep building.’
Deji, meanwhile, called out a pair of popstars. ‘I wouldn’t mind fighting Justin Bieber. Liam Payne. Anyone who wants it really, I want all the smoke.’
Earlier in the evening, Tommy Fury went the full six rounds in his exhibition bout against Rolly Lambert, after his professional bout against Paul Bamba was called off at the last minute.