The Floyd Mayweather vs. Deji exhibition will go down as the least serious of the all-time boxing great’s post-career lark.
Mayweather spent eight rounds clowning the social influencer turned boxer, just as concerned with entertaining the audience as beating his opponent at Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai. There were ring card girl impressions, between-round pad sessions and even a pirouette as the 45-year-old Mayweather toyed with his food. As the bout was an exhibition, no winner was declared.
Like many of Mayweather’s not-pro fights, the opponent picked the amount of punishment he could receive. If Deji, the brother of original influencer turned boxer KSI, turned up the heat, he paid for it with more punishment. If he shelled up, he fared a little better, though by the fourth round, Mayweather decided he’d earned his money and got to work dismantling his overmatched foe. “Money” threw punches from his waist and slapped at Deji’s gloves, big-brothering him with little regard for what came back.
At one point, Mayweather smiled when Deji – whose full name is Oladeji Daniel Olatunji – cut an angle and threw a few well-placed punches. As trivial as the action was, his corner still worked on some swelling on his brow, the result of decades in the business. Then, he continued to beat on his foe.
In the sixth, Mayweather came out hot, cornering Deji and firing fast punches; his speed looked even better considering his opponent’s slowness. Deji covered up and managed to survive with a few punches and escapes to another set of rings. But eventually, referee Kenny Bayless had seen enough and stopped the fight in the sixth round.
Floyd is feeling it
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Mayweather’s exhibition came two months after another knockout win, a second-round stoppage of Mikuru Asakura under the RIZIN banner that looked far more legitimate. It was also a much clearer result than the 2021 exhibition against Logan Paul, who won a moral victory by going the distance.
Deji called the result an early stoppage and hoped to continue boxing, calling out Justin Bieber in his post-fight speech. As an amateur, he went 0-3 including a debut loss to Jake Paul on the undercard of KSI’s headliner against Logan Paul. In his lone pro bout, he stopped YouTuber Fousey via TKO.