Is Jake Paul good or bad for boxing?

They might be the kings of YouTube, but does that mean they should be the kings of the ring?

Euan Morris
20th June 2021
Twitter @jakepaul
Jake Paul continues to make headlines in and out of the ring, which was epitomised by the brawl between him and Floyd Mayweather at the Mayweather vs Logan Paul press conference earlier this week, resulting in Jake getting banned from the fight on June 6th.

“The problem child” decimated Ben Askren inside a round, in what proved to be a complete mismatch. It is subjective how much one can take from that fight, given Ben Askren is a wrestler and not a boxer, which was evident on the night. However, that was Jake Pauls third fight, meaning that he needs to be carefully matched due to the lack of experience. Consequently a low risk high reward strategy has been adopted by Triller, meaning that more high profile fights involving MMA fighters will be on the cards, as these fights generate significantly more revenue than a fight against a journeyman. The Ben Askren fight generated $65m and 1.3 million pay-per-view buys, to put this into perspective, Canelo, the best pound for pound boxer, is set to make $35m from the Billy Joe Saunders fight.

There have been negotiations between Jake Paul and the former Love Island winner Tommy Fury (5-0), but it is doubtful that the fight will happen given Tommy Fury and his promoter Frank Warren are demanding a 50-50 split, given Jake Paul is regarded as the A side. This fight would also go against the strategy Triller have adopted, as Tommy Fury isn’t a big name in the US, and is a monumental step up in competition compared to Ben Askren. Jake Paul hasn’t fought a ‘live’ opponent yet, so its likely that he will learn to walk before he can run and take easier crossover fights.

There are different schools of thought on whether internet personalities are good or bad for the sport, given that there have been some fights on the undercard of white collar events which were abysmal to watch.

On the other hand, internet personalities shine a brighter light on the sport and generate more demand. This allows networks to access bigger budgets to spend on higher quality undercards, which is seen on the Mayweather Logan Paul card, as Jean Pascal defends his WBA light heavyweight belt in a rematch against Badou Jack, a fight which could easily headline a Showtime card. This has been a major factor in the growth of the UFC relative to boxing, as undercards on UFC cards tend to be a much higher standard.

People may or may not like Jake Paul, but it’s clear to see that the hard work and dedication is there and he does respect the sport. Since the white collar fight against Deji in 2018, it is clear to see that real progress has been made. If the 24 year old is committed to boxing for the next 10 years, with careful management and the right fights, who knows how far Jake Paul can go in the sport.

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