Cash for cred

Floyd Mayweather, Justin BeiberSteve Marcus/Reuters/Landov

WHY BIEBER? It's the question everyone asks every time Justin Bieber flanks Floyd Mayweather on the boxer's ring walk. A brief exchange between the two before Mayweather's Sept. 14 bout against Canelo Alvarez provides a clue. About 90 minutes prior to the fight, Bieber made a clumsy entrance into Mayweather's dressing room, barging in with hand-slaps and bro-hugs. Mayweather nodded in Bieber's direction but otherwise ignored him. Thirty minutes later, though, came the crystallizing moment: Mayweather wordlessly called Bieber over, put his arm around him and said, "Take a photo and send it out to your followers." For a moment, Bieber looked a part of Money's posse.

And assuming even an infinitesimal portion of those 48,735,521 Beliebers persuaded their parents to buy the fight, they juiced the fight's record payday of nearly $150 million in pay-per-views. Suddenly, the pairing that makes no sense at all made all the sense in the world.

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