On August 29, YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul will make his fourth trip to the prize ring to face former UFC champion Tyron Woodley. The pairing is the main event of the evening, scheduled for eight rounds or less of boxing in the cruiserweight (176–200 lb) division.
Paul’s fight is the latest in a recent surge of celebrity boxing match-ups, including an exhibition in June between his brother, Logan Paul, and five-division world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Before the Paul brothers entered the boxing ring, their fans didn’t just click “Subscribe” to see them do something special – they go to the so-called “real life” side to see them do anything together. Let’s go. As boxing scene Columnist Corey Erdman observed:
“Everybody who traffics in the online economy always makes sure to use the word ‘authenticity’ in describing what they do. In every video, there’s at least a piece of it – it’s that There is a lens in the person’s habitat, their fashion, their musical taste, something. The social media landscape is based on a perceived relationship with the creator.”
Jake and Logan Paul entering boxing are just an extension of “real life” scenarios that their fans happily consume on YouTube. The Paul brothers have a plethora of fans who will watch them do anything from the mundane to the outrageous, anywhere and anytime. Money follows.
Stephen Espinoza, President showtime sports, Paul sees the saga as an opportunity. “It’s not all about Jake Paul. It’s about Jake doing his own events, but at the same time he aspires to turn Jake Paul fans into boxing fans.”
Others do not understand Espinoza’s vision. In a sport riddled with controversy, surely novices like Paul, who pulled in millions by boxing retired mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters, YouTubers and basketball players, detract from the legitimacy of the sport. This is a short-term business decision, plain and simple.
business over sport
Boxing fans and experts are divided over the “charm” of the Paul brothers and the like. The professional award winner, more than any other athlete, may be the living embodiment of the American dream, that old – largely incorrect – touting of hard work and perseverance as a hedge against poverty, from rags to riches. To catapult the deserving.
But the Paul brothers are the opposite. White, straight, male and wealthy, they are symbols of privilege.
Pauls earned millions through YouTube, but stopped posting daily in 2018 to seek “other opportunities”. In 2019, Logan made his professional boxing debut, losing to fellow newcomer JJ Olatunji, better known for his YouTube handle KSI, in a headlining fight, despite the presence of two world title bouts on the cards. by split decision.
If Paul-Olatunji’s headlining wasn’t enough to turn heads, there certainly were purses for that evening. As a debutante, they earned at least US$900,000 for round four matches. Devin Haney and Billy Joe Saunders, both champions defending their belts, earned US$1 million and US$750,000, respectively.
If the rise of Pauls has taught the sporting world anything, it’s that professional boxing is more business than sport. And marketability is everything.
For celebrities, boxing offers the possibility of another big payday based entirely on non-boxing popularity. It’s not about talent, as in new York Times’ As Morgan Campbell observed, it’s all about the spectacle and the entertainment.
The Paul Brothers are a symptom, not the cause of boxing’s woes
The millions of dollars made by novice celebrity boxers like the Paul Brothers are a symptom of boxing trouble, but certainly not the cause. Professional boxing is free-market capitalism run amok. Promoters and managers used to be to blame, now it’s an alphabet soup of “world titles” sanctioning bodies separating the sport.
It is nearly impossible to explain the state of the championship to a casual fan. There are four main championship bodies, including the World Boxing Association (WBA), plus an endlessly changing roster of minor “world” bodies, all issuing their own accreditations.
The WBA is in a league of its own when it comes to watering the game’s upper echelon, creating three world-title belts for each division. Kevin Iole yahoo sports The WBA sums up the situation well:
“It is hard for people in sports to follow, such as those who manage or promote fighters. Imagine what it would be like for fans who just want to know what they’re watching.… Imagine if an NFL team won a playoff game, but the next week the NFL ordered a new playoff game to be held .
On August 7, Michael “The Professor” Fox lived up to his ring name, teaching Venezuelan Olympian Gabriel Mestre a bout for the interim WBA welterweight title. Despite winning almost every round, not a single judge sided in Fox’s favor. Scorecard from WBA’s 2019 Female Judge of the Year judge Gloria Martinez Rizzo scored ten rounds two in the competition for Mestre. With an inexplicable scorecard dominating the boxing news cycle, boxing scene Reporter Corey Erdman digs deeper, adding some disturbing context to the situation.
on Twitter, He shared several problematic tweets from Rizzo, in which a judge called Michelle Obama a “monkey face.” A judge with a public history of anti-black racism could be allowed to score in any boxing match, let alone a championship featuring a black boxer, showing that the WBA has tried to compete for his title. How much care do you have for the athletes?
Fox took it seriously by tweeting: “Looks like I’ll have to settle with the People’s Champ for now.” Fox is getting a rematch, but that’s hardly enough. He won the title, the game disappointed him.
There is no dearth of scholars examining the intersection of race and boxing. Historians such as Jeffrey T. Sammon, Cassia Bodie, Louis Moore and Jason Winders detail the struggles and victories of George Dixon of Canada, who in 1892 broke the “color line” and became the world’s first black champion. Still, here we are, more than 100 years later, to see an openly racist judge get the call to score a WBA title fight.
The Paul brothers get a chance to earn millions more by entering boxing and adding the sport to their reality-themed empire. But highly skilled athletes like Fox are treated with racist judges and denied the accolades and opportunities they deserve.
As boxing stands, why would anyone want more eyes on the sport? Or should I say business.