maybe half empty O2 Arena It wasn’t a literal abyss, but it could have been a figurative abyss. When your career is built on a societal interest in watching you get knocked out, what’s left when that possibility is ruled out? What remains is not enough to fill the O2 Arena, because Floyd Mayweather He learned it when he boxed for the first time in England on Saturday night.

That was the most important selling point of this exhibition encounter. Aaron Chalmers, reality TV star to fighter who stepped in for kickboxer Liam Harrison. But the biggest selling point as Mayweather has been a minor selling point. Sporty Union Jack shorts – played and taunted Chalmers for eight two-minute rounds in front of an overwhelming and meager audience in the British capital.

The shocking event, which took place the day after Mayweather turned 46, actually looked like the kind of sad, poorly attended birthday party a sadly unpopular child could stage in elementary school. Looks like Mayweather is no longer the popular kid. The curtained top floor of the O2 and the many empty rows of seats also showed this. The first fight of the night was postponed for an hour in case more participants arrived with gifts, but this did not have the desired effect.

While some seats found friends in time for the main event, where Mayweather would have won 80-72 if he had scorecards, it was an awkward moment for the American to tell the crowd after the fight. return to the UK if they wish; almost all of the attendees responded positively, only there weren’t many.

Yet it could have been—perhaps should have been—very different. Mayweather’s professional career remains a storied career that included multiple world titles and claims to be the greatest boxer ever, which ended when the Americans stopped MMA giant Conor McGregor in 2017 as “Money” finally moved to 50-0. While that carnivalesque competition was still professional, it paved the way for the one-of-a-kind show on Saturday evening that Mayweather and Chalmers attended. Likewise, it was the first stepping stone to set off. Jake Paul and Tommy Fury’s match on Sundaywhich will actually pass as a professional match – and one that outshines Mayweather vs Chalmers.

But with such a storied career taking place largely in Las Vegas (Mayweather’s last 15 fights in 11 years have been staged in Sin City), the strategy of navigating the veteran’s fresh pastures should have been a solid strategy for this added phase.

There was an element of intrigue during Mayweather’s first show against Tenshin Nasukawa on New Year’s Eve four years ago in the kickboxing star’s hometown of Japan. But Miami wasn’t the most glamorous place when Mayweather boxed with YouTuber Logan Paul two summers ago. His next bout against retired boxer Don Moore last May could constitute a sports wash if more people really cared about the competition in Abu Dhabi. While the same can be said for Mayweather’s latest fight against YouTuber Deji in Dubai, his clash with mixed martial artist Mikuru Asakura last September took off in Saitama, Japan, where the novelty began and ended with Nasukawa against Mayweather. It marked the return.

Which brings us to London; The one who brought Mayweather to London. At this point, the 46-year-old’s slow-paced exhibition tour has little or no momentum; this would have served better with a series of fights staged at a faster pace and in more diverse locations. Mayweather in London, Tokyo, Berlin and Beijing for a year was the kind of game plan that could have worked more effectively, especially if it had had a guaranteed goodbye to one of the biggest ever.

Still, even then, the show format removes one of the major selling points of Mayweather’s professional career: the chance for a frustratingly clinical defensive boxer to be knocked out and eventually humiliated. Despite Chalmers holding an MMA record of 5-2 and being 1-0 as a professional boxer, he would never have been able to surprise Mayweather – Manny Pacquiao, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, “Canelo” Alvarez, Shane Mosley and Miguel Cotto failed to. Chalmers effectively admitted Independent this week.

As such, we expect the announcement of Mayweather’s next exhibition to be announced, possibly in the Middle East and most likely when veterans want another payday. But according to Saturday night, there may not be much left for “Money”.