One of the most senior figures associated with Floyd Mayweather admits he has NEVER seen him as angry as when Jake Paul stole his hat and caused a brawl in Miami last month.
The 44-year-old boxing legend returns to the ring this Sunday in a bout against Logan Paul, the older brother of Jake and a fellow social media star, in an event dubbed an ‘exhibition’.
Mayweather has not fought professionally since 2017, when he eventually stopped former UFC champion Conor McGregor after ten rounds at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Despite amassing an incredible fortune from his 50 fights as a pro, the decision to continue to fight – albeit against limited opposition – has led to criticism from plenty of pundits and former fighters.
Carl Froch, Josh Taylor and Gareth A. Davies have all suggested the fight is tarnishing the legacy which ‘Money’ forged ever since his first fight in the paid ranks back in 1996 after the Olympics in Atlanta.
Yet Showtime Boxing executive Espinoza admitted the animosity towards Jake Paul is very real and Mayweather is even more irked than he was during the global tour with McGregor four years ago.
“I have never seen him that angry,” Espinoza said, as quoted by The Express. “Not even in the McGregor press tour, when it was very personal.
“It was not arranged or pre-planned by Floyd or his team. I think Jake very much had it pre-planned and capitalised in his own unique way. From the tattoo to the merchandise, to everything he made out of it.
“From Floyd, I think that in some of the same way that the McGregor press tour changed the perception of that event. It went from being a circus to realising there’s real animosity there.
“[The Jake incident] has layered on a little more motivation for both sides. Floyd felt disrespected. He was very angry.
“He’s not that good an actor, to be quite honest, to show that level of wrath on command for something he wasn’t really angry about, so very much so, it angered him.”
Jake Paul is expected to face former UFC champion Tyron Woodley in his next fight, with reports suggesting the face off could well be on Friday before big brother Logan weighs in.