I, for one, am absolutely hyped on this upcoming boxing match between Jake Paul and Ben Askren. But many are not as enthusiastic due to it being a bit of a side show. It’s been called every name in the book: a cash grab, circus, disrespectful, all of it. Some people are really mad about Paul being involved in boxing. Paul vs. Askren is a huge event however, and it’s ruffled the feathers of some of the boxing purists and fans of fights alike.
But why do events like this actually gain traction? It all started with Logan Paul, the brother of Jake, and KSI fighting. The two YouTubers decided to handle their beef by doing what men have done for years: duke it out. The event was WILDLY successful and prompted a rematch between the two. These two events brought in hoards of celebrities and fans of the two YouTube stars. Boxing’s elite didn’t take the event seriously, and it turns out they were mistaken to not see how much of an impact the YouTubers would have on the sport.
First of all, boxing’s promoters have embraced the YouTube platform and the eyes it can bring. While the first card was packed with not-boxers. The rematch, however, saw Paul and KSI draw the eyes of these promoters and instead of having amateurs, Billy Joe Saunders and Devin Haney had matches on the card. Boxing’s realized the impact these YouTubers have on the sport with their new generation of fans. Jake Paul found his first pro fight the A-side of in his professional debut with Demetrius Andrade and Jojo Diaz on the card.
Paul then found himself on the undercard of Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. I mean, it’s freaking Mike Tyson, there’s no way Jake Paul was the A-side of that. But with that knockout, Paul’s popularity grew. And here we are today: Paul vs. Askren. What gives?
Paul vs. Askren: The Freakshow or the New Norm?
Get used to it. Jake Paul has an audience and the Ben Askren fight is a brilliant move from Paul and the promoters. These boxing promoters are some of the best marketers in the world and have an eye for money. Jake Paul wants the same thing. Teaming up with them not only helps grow their bank accounts, but it also helps build the stars that deserve it. Saunders, Haney, Andrade, and Diaz have all benefitted from the Paul effect. Former champion, and a favorite of mine, Regis Prograis, will be getting similar exposure.
I mean, Jake Paul isn’t competing the cruiserweight belt ever. Don’t count on him to take on Mairis Briedis anytime soon. But, what’s the harm in taking on Ben Askren? It generates interest in boxing and grows tomorrows stars.
But what makes me excited about Paul vs. Askren specifically? I really don’t know. Ben Askren and Jake Paul are both decent promoters and make a good story. It’s not something I ever imagined. It’s a freaking YouTuber versus an Olympic wrestler boxing. It makes no sense. It’s wild. Not something I’ve put thought in and quite frankly, it’s exciting to think about. Can the wrestler who didn’t look like a striker beat the YouTube fighter who has shown improvement? Will Jake Paul get his wish to eventually box Conor McGregor? What happens if Ben Askren wins? Find out next week on DragonBall Z.
Check out my Technical Readout on Jake Paul on YouTube below!
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Your friendly neighborhood fight fan. I watch way too many fights and my wife lets me know it. Also, Cowboy Cerrone is the GOAT.