Whether they call him a clown or a showoff, Jake Paul has acquired many critics of what he has done in his short boxing career. Against the likes of former NBA veteran Nate Robinson and MMA fighter Ben Askren, the social media sensation has won by knockout in both of those matches and has gotten mauled by the media for rigged fights throughout his career.
With four fights under his belt and a controversial transition into the sport, Paul should start to be taken seriously. Despite all of the things that he has done throughout his boxing career, I’m here to talk about why he’s actually a good figure for the sport, regardless of if he wins these big ticket fights or not.
Starting off, the amount of publicity that Paul provides for the sport of boxing is tremendous. In his last fight against Tyron Woodley, a fight that went several rounds and had numerous boxing fans tuned in with the hopes that Paul would finally get knocked out, the fight sold approximately 480,000 to 500,000 buys according to the Wrestling Observer. That viewership is no easy task, especially with the rise of illegal streaming cutting into the potential number of buys.
In the events leading up to these fights, Paul’s actions can be seen as boisterous, yet masterful. The fighter is able to get people talking about all of his fights and generate an intense amount of viewership, a task that is difficult for many modern boxers to accomplish in an attempt to gain the attention of fans in a competitive sports market. Many of the social media star’s actions to promote his fights include humiliating his opponent, stressing his past career with Disney and training montages to show his work to prepare for his fights.
While many critics and fans expected Paul’s fights to be a joke, the boxer has done a lot to show his commitment to the sport and how much he actually cares about his fights. He has posted videos that show him working out tremendously with the help of personal trainers to elevate his fighting skills. When Paul was supposed to fight undefeated boxer Tommy Fury and his opponent backed out due to health issues, Paul quickly replaced Fury with a rematch against Woodley, a fight that Woodley himself wanted and even got a tattoo to show his commitment.
“The rematch, it always made sense,” Paul said to ESPN. “It didn’t make as much sense as me fighting Tommy Fury then and there. [Woodley is] ready, and he did get the tattoo. He was the only one on the list that can sell pay-per-views. I can’t just go in there and fight some journeyman like most of these boxers do.”
Paul has even garnered praise from boxing legends for what he has given to the sport. Boxing legend Mike Tyson has gone on to say that Paul has even saved the sport of boxing. “Boxing was pretty much a dying sport. The UFC was kicking our butt,” the former heavyweight champion said. “Boxing is going back thanks to the YouTube boxers.”
On top of praise from Mike Tyson, Paul has also worked with his brother Logan to elevate both of the brother’s boxing careers. The Paul brothers have been able to generate so much attention that it caused retired boxer Floyd Mayweather to step into the ring for another fight. While the fight did not see a winner in the end, the tremendous viewership from the fight that exceeded Paul’s fight against Woodley speaks volumes to one true fact.
The social media personality can generate money and he provides great entertainment for boxing fans across the world. His ability to call out fighters and show that he is not some type of joke, while grabbing the attention of top fighters, is impressive and remarkable. If fans are still treating Paul like a publicity stunt, it’s time to start giving him his due respect in the boxing world.