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Doesn’t Jake Paul Want To Be A Boxer?

‘I love boxing more than anything & I respect the sport & have dedicated my life to it’

That’s Jake Paul, from Minimalist Quotes. And here’s him talking about his recent loss to Tommy Fury;

‘When I lost, I came back and got better and showed the world how to lose on the biggest stage, and come back and win on the biggest stage.’

So it certainly sounds like he’s learning lessons from boxing. But he’s also a social media scion will trillions of followers or something.

And so we have to ask the question…What Does Jake Paul Want With Boxing?

The purity of being the best?

The hoopla, fame and money of the business of boxing?

Very few do both. Possibly only Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather, unbeaten and well remunerated. Even Muhammad Ali didn’t manage it.

It’s incredibly difficult. And that’s before Paul goes and makes it difficult for himself. Some boxing fans were already wary of the social media star not having worked his way up through small hall cards with 100 or so in attendance in, say, Tupelo or New Jersey. No, he came straight in with all the bright lights and big bucks.

And then there were the opponents, MMA fighter Tyron Woodley twice, another MMA’er in Ben Askren, even a former basketball player…

I’m going to use this word. Legitimacy. Boxing struggles with it anyway, one step forward (Crawford v Spence, a match we wanted so much) and two steps back (the Conor Benn situation still rumbling on, Dillian Whyte’s apparently positive banned substance test ruling him out of next week’s big fight) and there’s always more social media childishness to boot. All the time.

And the last thing boxing seemed to need was a social media influencer fighting non-boxers and calling it boxing. And then it changed.

Because then Jake Paul fought Tommy Fury who, despite the furore around the Fury name and his ‘Love Island’ sabbatical, came up in a more legitimate boxing way. And Paul lost. He wasn’t quite ready. It put down a marker, made us see whereabouts in boxing Jake Paul was.

0 Jake Paul v Nate Diaz
Credit; The Mirror

And in defeat, he seemed magnanimous, humble, learning – we boxing fans are an understanding, open lot, willing to take a Jake Paul who wanted to be a learning, legitimate boxer, to our hearts.

And then…

Jake Paul fought Nate Diaz. Now, nobody can surely blame DAZN and Eddie Hearn for wanting this fight as people will watch, it may even cross over; it exists in a strange world between perhaps legitimacy and perhaps hoopla.

But it’s what it says about Paul’s love of boxing that really matters. And boxing fans have a belief in purity and long memories; we talk about obscure fights from the 70s with fighters who had a moment in the sun but otherwise didn’t have a big career.

Why do we do it? Because they are boxers who worked their ticket, came up the long way and were legitimate.

Paul? He seemed to be aching to do it the way we wanted, boxing fans wanted. Now, with the Nate Diaz fight in the books, he seems to want to do it the way other fans, casual fans, want it. And believe me, there are discussions about the quality of different boxing fans.

The Fight: Paul Vs Diaz

Jake Paul def. Nate Diaz Paul vs. Diaz 004
Credit; MMA Junkie

It surely wasn’t all Paul would have wanted. He won, the cards were wide and he dominated Diaz who couldn’t really cope with Paul’s jab.

Looking to make the fight a rougher battle, Diaz only really leaned on his opponent once. Diaz needed to hold in the first round, Paul was on his toes more whilst Diaz was a little more flat-footed, plodding even, having trouble keeping pace with the speed of Paul’s shots and that much was apparent in round 5.

Diaz hit the deck from a right hook and looked upset to be caught, particularly as he was getting some shots in, usually leaving himself open for a counter, in the 7th for instance, when the softer shots he offered left him open to a left hook.

So Why Wasn’t the Night Ideal for Paul?

Jake Paul Nate Diaz 08062023 1
Credit; Sporting News

He was expected to finish things early and didn’t, having Diaz on the run several times but not capitalising enough.

And then there were the closing rounds when Paul seemed to tire quickly, sag a little and, in round 8, appeared reluctant to defend himself much against the 2 uppercuts which slammed into his face.

That gave Diaz renewed heart, too late of course, and his flurry had Paul looking worried.

Not A Good Night For Paul Then?

Oh, it was. There was real interest in this fight and surely the PPV figures won’t be scant. But it all depends what Paul wants and how he sees himself progressing in boxing. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t have the boxing purity and the media hoopla. Or will Jake Paul be one of the only ones to do it?

Now, that really would be special.

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