Is Jake Paul good for boxing?

Is Jake Paul good for boxing? 

This question seems even more relevant after his first-round knockout of professional boxer Andre August earlier this month.

Paul is a Disney-star turned YouTuber turned professional boxer. He has fully devoted himself to the sport of boxing. Yet, prior to August bout has taken on a handful of celebrities in lucrative attention seeking bouts. Friday’s fight was a departure from the formula that had worked for Paul. Now we must revisit the master narrative of whether or not Jake Paul is good for boxing. 

The Good.

Outside of his boxing career, Paul has started a promotion — Most Valuable Promotions. 

This promotion has taken Amanda Serrano’s career to the next level as she has gotten record paydays and the biggest fights of her career. Paul has signed blue-chip prospect Ashton Sylve. On top of that, Paul has hired one of the best boxing minds in the business Mike Leanardi. Paul has made a career of surrounding himself with the right people, and in boxing, it has been no different. 

As for his career, he is bringing new eyes to the sport. Those who he influences or creates content for are atypical boxing fans. Even if they don’t watch week-to-week it makes boxing relevant. 

Paul also doesn’t play boxing. Many influencers are worrisome. It seems they don’t understand the dangers of boxing. Paul treats it with dignity and respect in terms of his preparation. The question is what is his end goal? 

No one knows. The one thing is - Paul has crossed both the boxing and MMA media markets. Now he is getting as much attention as any fighter and continues to create compelling match-ups on paper. 

Paul might be the first of what we will see more and more of. Children of a generation, who only know the internet and speak in a language of memes more so than words. Though some might find this despondent, it might be what boxing needs.

The Bad

It is walking a thin-line of sports and sports entertainment. The showmanship mixed with having every advantage in the book could be off-putting. Outside of the Tommy Fury fight, Paul’s lone loss, he has fought naturally smaller fighters. Even Andre August was a career light heavyweight, who had only one fight at cruiserweight. 

A cynic would look at Paul’s career as being Machiavellian by design. Targeting people with big influencers who were smaller than him or less talented than him. 

Yet, if Tom Cruise, the famous actor, wanted to play for the NBA franchise, The New York Knicks, they probably wouldn’t allow it. Boxing is vulnerable, and somewhat irrelevant, to a lot of people. Paul has found a vulnerable market along with a passion for the sport. 

Some of his showmanship to ‘sell a fight’ is a bit off-putting to some purists. Antics like huge robots, making tattoo bets with his opponent, etc. These are great things to get people talking, but what does it do for the sport as a whole? 

The argument against Jake Paul is simple. Is the sport going to be worse off and/or perceived as more of a charade because of his involvement and time spent with the sport? Some believe so - and hence the resistance to a fighter with three-and-a-half-years of experience in main event cards over career professionals. 

Paul is calling out Canelo Alvarez, a top draw in the sport with very little on his resume to merit such a fight. This makes some feel as though Paul might be out for himself first, and the sport second.