Is Jake Paul bad for boxing? No, and it’s time for people to stop saying he is

You’ve certainly read the stories and seen the rumors on social media about why you shouldn’t watch Saturday’s rematch between Jake Paul and Tyron Woodley.

They said it was bad for boxing. A YouTube celebrity competing in sweet science is a mockery of the sport, they wrote. UFC welterweight contender Colby Covington called him an “embarrassment to society.” Critics have called it a “circus show.” And so on.

They keep poking fun at Paul’s unlikely boxing career because it’s a joke, right?

If it’s a joke, then the numbers are hilarious.

Half a million pay-per-view buys for the first fight is nothing to laugh at, especially when you consider that fights like Manny Pacquiao vs. Yordenis Ugas, Terence Crawford vs. Shawn Porter, Gervonta Davis vs. Mario Barrios, and others couldn’t have failed. matches that number. A YouTube celebrity turned boxer has managed to attract a new audience for a sport that has struggled with the Millennial demographic.

Paul brings a certain element of entertainment to the sport that goes a long way in attracting new fans. Some of the biggest stars in boxing history have added more than just their sweet science app. Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather Jr. were great draws who also entertained themselves outside the ring.

Ultimately, everything is professional wrestling.

Hardcore fans may turn their noses up at the theatricality of pro wrestling, but its mix of violence, drama, and eccentric personalities grabs the attention of the casual fan and turns a normal fight into an event. That boosts ratings and fills stadiums across the country.

Wrestling is a universal language and it is the only sport in which a bad fight is actually a good fight. The inexperienced eye does not care about technique or skill. No matter what someone is looking at, if a fight breaks out, they will probably get their attention. There’s a reason videos of people fighting get more attention than, say, two people playing a game of basketball one-on-one. Our carnal appetite for violence drives us, and there has never been much consideration for technique. That said, those who can entertain and fight are far more attractive than those who can’t.

Jake Paul has mastered the perfect combination of skill and entertainment value, while being keenly aware of the money that boxing demands. He has brought his large fan base to the sport, taken his training seriously, contacted the right opponents, and created a buzz around his fights by using social media tools to attract. to an audience.

Don’t you like their antics? That’s fair. But remember, people didn’t like Ali, Tyson, and Mayweather’s antics, either. Paul is certainly not close to any of those fighters in skill, but he has the power to attract eyes.

You don’t have to like it, but playing goalkeeper in a sport where the goal is to knock an opponent unconscious is silly. Jake Paul does not handle your taxes or represent you in the courtroom. This is boxing. You are making people want to watch a sport that has lost the attention of the masses because so many other things are vying for your time and consideration.

To be clear, if no one is watching, then the sport that you love and protect so much will eventually die.

So what are we mad at, again?

Oh yeah. You can’t fight, can you?

Well, it’s not Canelo Álvarez, that’s for sure. But he has shown significant improvement since he first buttoned his gloves for an amateur fight against fellow YouTuber Deji Olatunji in 2018. He has increased his competition by going from YouTuber to NBA athlete, MMA fighter who wrestles and fighter from MMA that attacks. A boxer was supposed to be next for Paul on Saturday until Tommy Fury retired with an injury.

Oh, do you want me to fight real boxers? He is only heading into his fifth fight as a professional. Unless a boxer has had a storied amateur career, it is unlikely that someone turning pro will face top-tier competition this early in their career. The boxing world adores Julio César Chávez, but that professional record has a good amount of tomato cans and taxi drivers. Deontay Wilder was an Olympic bronze medalist, but it would be difficult to find a quality opponent in the early years of his professional career.

You may not respect Jake Paul as a fighter, but you have to respect him as a promoter. It continues to expose established wrestlers like Amanda Serrano and Montana Love to a new audience. You don’t have to do that, because the tried-and-true formula in boxing is to make the main event the only fight that matters, but Paul has made it a point to put quality fighters on his cards.

When he headlined his first pay-per-view, an April 2020 fight against Ben Askren, Paul placed former junior welterweight champion Regis Prograis in the co-feature event. The undercard for her first fight with Woodley featured Love, potential opponent Fury, heavyweight knockout artist Daniel Dubois and one of the world’s best pound-for-pound fighters in Serrano.

And he’s paying them, well.

Again, you don’t have to do this, but Paul and Nakisa Bidarian, your senior advisor and co-founder of Most Valuable Promotions, understood that it would benefit them much more to help grow the sport by dividing the pie rather than hoarding the money. Financial benefits.

In the process, Paul has altered the feathers of UFC president Dana White and has become an unlikely advocate for proper fighter compensation in combat sports. That certainly helps.

If providing a platform for other fighters to expose themselves to a younger demographic is wrong, then we shouldn’t want to be right.

Will Jake Paul become world champion? You might like to think so, but it will take a lot of work to challenge the cream of boxing. But you can continue to make your mark on the sport and inject the right amount of adrenaline into it by attracting an audience that may eventually become a fan of “real” fighters.

This is how you help grow a sport.

You don’t have to like him, but it’s time to dispel the idea that Jake Paul is ruining boxing. Much worse things are happening that have damaged the public’s perception of the sport.