When the Paul brothers of social media fame said they were serious about boxing, they weren’t playing. Although the world of boxing diehards refused to accept the pair as serious pugilists, they were determined to be in the conversation.
Now they are.
Both Jake and Logan Paul have created a new lane in boxing. Part sideshow and all millennial, it is an aberration in a sport focused on lineage, pedigree and honor.
But the Pauls understand that in the world of neo-entertainment, there are no rules.
During Miami Superbowl weekend 2020, Jake “The Problem Child” Paul put on a show in his professional debut with a dominating first-round TKO victory over “7-Figure Gibber” AnEsonGib.
He was the co-main event of a show headlined by undefeated middleweight star Demetrius Andrade (29-0, 18 KOs) whom earned a 9th-round stoppage victory over contender Luke Keeler (17-3-1, 5 KOs).
Andrade defended his WBO World Middleweight title for the fourth time and was eclipsed marketing and interest wise by Paul.
Paul was on a mission to avenge the loss his brother Logan suffered to KSI in November 2019. After the fight, KSI entered the ring and the two exchanged words as they continue along with their inevitable collision course.
But that is magic that Jake Paul brings to the sport, intrigue. Diehards will label him a distraction but in fact, the Paul’s have created their lane.
When Jake Paul fought former NBA great, Nate Robinson – during the Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones, Jr. exhibition match – he solidified his impact in the sport.
Not only did he dramatically demolish the multisport professional athlete, but he stole the show as an official co-main eventer.
In the aftermath of the event, he called out everyone from MMA star Conor McGregor, to his minion, Dillon Danis.
Then in the days that followed the bomb was dropped on the combat sports world when it was revealed that his brother, Logan Paul, would be fighting undefeated legend and first ballot Hall of Famer Floyd “Money” Mayweather in an exhibition bout.
Mayweather’s last fight was an exhibition against Japanese kickboxing star, Tenshin Nasukawa. He cashed in on the sideshow fights early.
His bout against Conor McGregor was preposterous but is currently the second-highest selling PPV in boxing ever.
Like McGregor, Logan Paul is a pop culture phenomenon and the intrigue alone is the selling point.
Both Jake and Logan Paul, if for nothing else, are two of the most polarizing figures to ever enter combat sports and that is what makes them influential.
Even former world champion and current promoter Oscar De La Hoya believes the sideshow fights brought welcome attention to the sport.
The “Golden Boy” went can’t further in an interview with Bloomberg.
“We’re appreciative of a Jake Paul who is a boxer now,” said De La Hoya. “He’s creating attention that boxing hasn’t seen in a long time.”
For taking the sideshow to new heights for a new generation feed visuals for YouTube, they reinforce that the power of social media is omnipotent and can crown neo-athletes as draws amid a hierarchy that they will never have to climb.