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Opinion

Jake Paul is the best thing in boxing today

Red boxing gloves hanging against grey wall (Getty Images)
Roar Guru
3rd September, 2021
5

This is not some spiel about how boxing was better in the old days, nor is it some attempt to downgrade the walking living legends fighting today.

But in a sport with one too many sanctioning bodies – which only overtly complicates potential fights and makes belts trivial – no sport is more superstar-driven.

And as odd as it is, no superstar brings in more persona, following or flair to boxing than Jake Paul, who just proved himself to be committed to the sport.

Do you know how my sweet old mum knows of Mike Tyson? Because he was ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson. The baddest man on the planet. The all-black shorts. The press conference flip-outs. The lisp and deranged eyes.

Do you know who she doesn’t know? Larry Holmes or Lennox Lewis, opponents of Tyson who I can make the case had better careers. That’s because like Paul, Tyson was so much bigger than just boxing.

Not to compare Paul and Tyson too much, there will only ever be one Tyson and as of right now, my mum has no clue who Paul is.

But before the boxing aficionados bite my head off, answer this: is Deontay Wilder that much closer to passing the mum test?

Tyson Fury’s nearly done, Canelo Alvarez doesn’t speak English, and Ryan Garcia and Gervonta Davis are not nearly as captivating.

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This is coming from someone who did not even like Paul coming up. But just ask Vince McMahon how valuable talent can be that is not liked.

Floyd Mayweather cannot seriously be much more liked than Paul and his name is in five of the top six biggest selling pay-per-views in boxing history.

Second on that list was Mayweather versus Conor McGregor – so please don’t list the reasons a prize fighter is bad for business.

The man is a real-life heel, copied only in the creativity of custom WWE 2K My Careers. But what makes him the best thing in boxing today now and not last week was what we witnessed in the Tyron Woodley fight.

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For whatever they like to call him, he’s got amateur champion level talent. Translated: he would kick 99.99 per cent of the guys that call him those names.

That wasn’t determined in the Ben Askren disaster and definitely not with Nate Robinson enthusiastically charging forward every second.

So how about instead of blocking him off, the boxing community accepts Paul for what he is: a novel fighter committed to improvement with the best trash talk presence of the century.

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