It didn’t take long for clips of the video to go viral, with fans now suggesting there’s a conspiracy theory in which Mayweather may have had money on the fight and tried to influence the outcome by not letting Paul get knocked out. While match-fixing is illegal and notably a far-fetched idea, it also bears noting that logistically, it’s pretty hard to intervene in the heat of the moment - especially in a sport like boxing.
Some fans have rallied against the idea, claiming that having come into the match at just 155 pounds, a far cry from Paul’s 190 pounds, Mayweather would have struggled to knock out a heavyweight. While that’s not to say he couldn’t have done it, to have hit him and then catch the full weight of Paul to then keep him standing, that just doesn’t seem plausible. Add to this the fact that Paul seemed to lean heavily on Mayweather throughout the match and those conspiracy theorists come up short in terms of a substantial argument. It’s worth noting that if Paul was knocked out, he wouldn’t have been able to continue throwing punches, which he did.
If anything, perhaps it just proves that with editing tools and capacities at our fingertips, it’s easier than ever to make something go viral - even something as outrageous as a conspiracy theory relating to an exhibition boxing match. In 2021, you truly have seen it all.