OT: Celebrity Boxing is becoming more and more popular despite the obvious risks

Jake Paul celebrates after his first win on January 30, 2020. Photo courtesy of Michael Reaves /Getty Images.

JAREN KAWADA | STAFF JOURNALIST | [email protected]

After getting a victory by split decision against Tyron Woodley on August 29 in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, Internet sensation Jake Paul improved his professional boxing record to 4-0. The eight-round bout was Paul’s second straight bout to headline a pay-per-view, his first headliner being a victory over fellow MMA veteran Ben Askren.

Paul, a former Disney Channel actor and Vine star, has since grown in popularity and fan base by developing content on other forms of social media such as YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. Since then, of course, he has focused on boxing almost exclusively and subsequently increased the popularity of celebrity boxing.

Because of his questionable personality and lifestylePaul is a very controversial character to say the least. Although he has many fans and supporters, he has an equal or greater number of people who dislike many parts of his character at all. Whether it’s jealousy, annoyance, or hate, it’s easy to tell that there are a lot of people who don’t approve of Paul.

Unsurprisingly, many professional boxers are against the idea of ​​Paul and his involvement in celebrity boxing. Fighters such as former WBC light middleweight champion Sergio Mora, UFC middleweight Uriah Hall, former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Anthony Smith, former UFC champion Chris Weidman and many more have openly expressed their disgust for Paul’s performances.

“Let’s be honest – the guy sucks,” Hall said in a press conference before his fight with Chris Weidman on April 24 at UFC 261.

“But he’s a genius,” Hall said. “You have people who love him and people who hate him and you have to watch him. But at the same time, it’s humiliating for what I call real athletes who put their time into it. I’m here literally in dying in training and he just got out there and put on a show.

Like Hall, many professional boxers who have always been combat athletes would do anything to swap places with Paul and live a safe life. For many of them, Paul’s boxing events are a parody of the sport and a lack of respect for their hard-earned careers and lives.

Mora went even further than Hall, comparing Paul to the legendary businessman and promoter of the show PT Barnum during his segment of the DAZN boxing show titled “JABS with Mannix and Mora”.

PT Barnum, the market’s biggest promoter, said he never lost a dollar by underestimating the American public, ”Mora said. “And that’s what we saw – these guys packed up the house in Ohio.”

Although harsh, Mora’s statements and comparisons are true to Paul’s combat business.

Barnum saw an opportunity to make a splash in the entertainment market and took a unique approach. He used unorthodox methods to create awkward, mind-boggling performances that were unconventional, but nonetheless made people want to watch and, in turn, turned out to be very successful. Like Paul, he was heavily criticized for being a risky showman – but was still one of the best of his generation.

The point is, no matter what Paul does, his followers will always be there for him. His fame was already through the roof and his fan base was unlike any other.

Even though it was his brother Logan who really started celebrity boxing popularity with his fights against YouTuber KSI, it’s Jake who holds the unbeaten record and knocked out former NBA player Nate Robinson in the main co-event of Mike Tyson’s comeback fight. It was also Jake who brutally knocked out former decorated wrestler and MMA fighter Ben Askren in the main event of a pay-per-view.

However, knowing that the Paul brothers and the many other celebrities who choose to box already have the fame and the money, why do they choose to participate in the most physically challenging sport? Why take this risk? Paul himself noted that his boxing adventures have already started causing him brain damage.

“I’m putting my sanity on the line,” said Paul. “My brain is on the line. I had brain scans and I have the first signs of CTE.

This is the danger of boxing and the worry that many people overlook. Boxing is the toughest sport and the only one where every participant always leaves the fight injured.

For example, there is the story of the once promising career of young Puerto Rican boxer Prichard Colón. In his last Stand Against Terrel Williams, the undefeated Colón was repeatedly struck illegally by Williams in the back of the head, causing him to suffer from a brain hemorrhage. Colón never fought again, and to this day he is still unable to walk or even speak.

It would take just one hit for a celebrity like Paul to suffer the same fate, a potentially intimidating boxing outcome that seems too risky given the popularity and success he already has.

Anyway, Paul continues to box despite affirming be retired for a day. Since his success in the sport, other celebrities have followed in his footsteps including rapper Blueface and 14 other internet personalities who took part in a celebrity boxing event titled “YouTubers vs. TikTokers. “

Some people didn’t seem to mind the lack of boxing experience in the event, however, as the à la carte event received approximately 136,000 purchases. While this number is below the target goal of 500,000 purchases, it is still an incredible amount for an amateur boxing event.

For the simple reason that he almost single-handedly skyrocketed the popularity of celebrity boxing and boxing in general, Paul has called himself the title “face of the fighting game.” While it might sound far-fetched, Paul has an argument for being the most popular boxer and some people in the boxing community like Mike Tyson have gone so far as to say that Paul’s act will save the sport.

It’s no secret that boxing in general has declined dramatically in popularity in recent times. years.

In the heyday of the sport, the best boxers in the world were household names. Now even top boxers such as Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Vasyl Lomachenko and Tyson Fury are hardly considered athletic superstars. Paul – on the other hand – is recognized by almost everyone in the country at this point and since venturing into boxing he has now reached the mainstream of sports fans.

At Instagram, Paul has amassed approximately 17.7 million followers. Compared to Canelo, who is arguably the best boxer in the world pound for pound, he has 10.3 million followers. Fury has 4.4 million subscribers and former Six Division Champion Manny Pacquiao has 6.6 million subscribers.

The only boxer with more followers than Paul’s is recently retired Floyd Mayweather Jr, who has 27.2 million followers and is considered by many to be the best boxer of all time.

Unbeknownst to many, celebrity boxing seems to grow exponentially every day as Paul’s record and fame simultaneously increases. Sadly, for some reason other celebrities are choosing to care about Paul’s increase in fame and fortune rather than his increase in brain damage, which should be of greater concern.

In general, celebrity boxing is drawing more attention to a sport that has seen a significant decline in popularity in recent years. However, it also changes the way people view the game, as seeing celebrities winning fights on TV gives people a false perception that it’s easy or not as dangerous as it actually is. With internet figures like the Paul brothers turning the most dangerous sport into a spectacle, the attention boxing receives from celebrities is actually horrible for the sport.

Many athletes – and people in general – believe that rappers, internet personalities, actors and social media stars should stick to their guns and carry on with their already successful activities and leave the ring for those who do. grew up there. After all, boxing is not a game.


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