MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Logan Paul's future as a bankable boxing commodity hinged on what he'd do Sunday night in an exhibition match with aging all-time great Floyd Mayweather.
If Mayweather, 44, thrashed and finished Paul early, it could have stalled Paul's marketing potential in the ring. Most anything else would have been a positive. What happened in reality -- Paul going all eight rounds and never getting dropped by Mayweather -- could only be thought of as a boon for the YouTube-star-turned-prizefighter.
Mayweather is one of the greatest boxers of all time. Despite the disparity in age and weight, most expected the smaller and older Mayweather to tear through Paul, who lost his only pro fight in 2019. Paul defied expectations and even impressed his opponent.
"He's better than I thought he was," Mayweather said of Paul. "... I was surprised by him tonight. Good work. Good little guy."
Mayweather dominated Sunday night at Hard Rock Stadium, but Paul at least gave the appearance that he was competitive at times, and the only way to look at that is as a huge positive for him.
So how could he possibly top a matchup with the legendary Mayweather?
"We have to see what makes the most financial sense, but it's going to be something big," Paul's boxing advisor Guadalupe Valencia told ESPN after the fight. "Everything he does from this moment forward, he's the 'A' side. It's always going to be big. That's just the way it is. That's just the reality after today."
Valencia said it's unclear at this point whether Paul will do another exhibition next or a legitimate, pro fight sanctioned by an athletic commission. He said he will meet with Paul and his manager Jeff Levin to plot out what seems to be an "extremely bright" future.
"The next fight is going to be bigger," Valencia said. "Bigger than Floyd. He went eight rounds with Floyd. His next fight is going to be even bigger, because now he's the person they want to see fight. I don't know what Floyd is doing next, but people want to see what Logan is doing next."
Paul, 26, wasn't any clearer on what could be on the horizon. He still seemed to be dizzied by the fact that he just competed in a bout with Mayweather in front of tens of thousands in a stadium and broadcast on Showtime pay-per-view.
"I don't know," Paul said. "I am such an infant in this sport. And regardless of the performance that was put on, this is my third fight. Against Floyd Mayweather. This is my [third year] in the sport. What the f--- is going on?
"Let me get a little good. And then for sure, I'll be putting on prizefights. That's the answer. I'm sure there's a list of opponents on Twitter. People chirping, saying this and saying that. I'll pick one. Make him f---ing get embarrassed. I don't know. We'll see."
Showtime Sports president Stephen Espinoza said he'd be interested in working again with Paul in the future. Espinoza said that people can almost look at what Paul is doing as his amateur career, since he never had one unlike high-level championship boxers who are now stars.
"Most fighters get the physical talents and skills first and then grow into the personality," Espinoza said. "It just happens that Logan has done it the other way. And he's under the microscope from fight one. So, there will be criticism no matter what he does, because he has a huge audience and there's a lot of envy, to be quite honest."
Showtime signed Paul's younger brother Jake last month. Espinoza said the key is that the Paul brothers continue to elevate their level of competition. Jake fights former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley on Aug. 28 in his fourth boxing pro fight. But how does Logan step up from Mayweather, even if Mayweather is 18 years his senior and more than 30 pounds lighter? That is something Logan's team will have to figure out, all the while attempting to engage Logan's younger, social-media based audience.
While perhaps not next, could there be a Paul vs. Paul fight in the future? Logan wouldn't rule it out.
"We love each other," Logan said. "But we also love putting on big shows. Maybe down the line. Again, give us some time to acclimate in this sport a little bit.
"I'm 26 years old, the kid is 24. What happens when I'm 30? Where am I at? Where is he at? Let us get good at this sport. Let us take over a little more. We're just getting started."