Floyd Mayweather’s long-awaited UK debut fails to attract interest with the O2 Arena left virtually EMPTY for the boxing legend’s exhibition against Aaron Chalmers… after fans were offered last-minute tickets to the event for just FIVE POUNDS
- American fighter stepped into the ring in the United Kingdom for the first time
- Despite that the event seemingly failed to drum up much interest among fans
- Footage from the event showed a near-empty O2 Arena on Saturday evening
Footage from Floyd Mayweather’s exhibition bout with Aaron Chalmers has shown a near-empty O2 Arena.
Mayweather, 46, made his long-awaited debut appearance in a UK ring on Saturday but despite that the fight failed to drum up much interest or attention and it was reflected in the attendance on the night.
Fighting against former Geordie Shore and British reality tv star Chalmers, the 50-0 former champion of the world appeared to take the occasion very casually as he toyed with his opponent for much of the eight-round fight.
The unbeaten American has engaged in a series of extremely lucrative exhibition fights since his retirement in 2017, which have largely taken place in the Middle East.
The ‘Royal Pain’ event was painfully delayed after a poor attendance at the start of proceedings combined with reports of thousands of unsold tickets at the O2 Arena.
Footage from the event at the O2 Arena showed swathes of empty seats during the bout
Empty seats could be seen all around the arena with the promoters failing to drum up requisite interest
It almost appeared farcical at times that the bout was taking place in front of so few
The farcical feeling to the event was only enhanced further by the fact that the broadcasters did not appear to know that the fight was eight rounds, not six.
Coming to the UK for the first time to fight, Mayweather said after the bout that he had come to ‘entertain the people’. Though on the evidence of footage and photographs from the O2, it seems very few had been willing to be ‘entertained’ in the first place.
In addition to the swathes of empty seats, Sportsmail can reveal that a website called ShowFilmFirst, a known seat-filler site, was still attempting to flog tickets for as little as £4.95 just hours out from the bout.
Their attempts to try and fill the arena came as the promoters tried to save face amid a distinct lack of appetite among the British boxing public for the fight.
It came amid claims that the sport was at a crossroads with the number of exhibition fights taking place and the money on offer for such. Jake Paul, notable for his YouTube exploits, is set to fight Tommy Fury, a professional boxer, in Saudi Arabia on Sunday night.
Zeus TV, the broadcaster, appeared to hone in on just the fighters during the ring walk, refusing to pan across to the crowd. It is not clear if this was in fear of showing the relatively empty arena.
Both fighters did not acknowledge the swathes of empty seats after the fight, with Mayweather himself in fact calling UK fans ‘unbelievable’.
‘I would like to thank all the fans in the UK. The fans are unbelievable,’ he said. ‘This guy is tough as nails, we had a chance to come together. I came to entertain the people and I’m glad I came.
Floyd Mayweather toyed with his opponent for the eight rounds – appearing to take the occasion rather casually
Aaron Chalmers said after the fight that it would be an event to ‘tell the grandkids’ about
‘I have a lot of experience. He has to continue to work hard and believe in himself. He’s got a tough chin – anything is possible.’
Chalmers, meanwhile, said that his experience would be one to tell the ‘grandkids’.
‘He caught us clean on the chin in the second round and it did wake me up a lot, but he’s just unbelievable. That’s one to tell the grandkids,’ he said.
‘We got as many sparring partners in but you can’t get anyone in to do what Floyd does. The win for me was to get to the eighth round and that’s what I did. Thanks for Floyd and his team I’m now in the mix for KSI and Jake Paul.’
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