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Jake Paul: Tons Of Hype And A Powerful Right Make For A Lucrative Combination

By: Sean Crose

Just three years ago, the man was a social media star – a figure
for the young generation – a presence well known by the children and grandchildren
of those born before 1985, but probably not many others. Now, he may well be
one of the top drawing pay per view attractions, not only in the world of
boxing, but in all combat sports. His professional record? 3-0. That’s right,
Jake Paul, the ubiquitous, obnoxious nightmare or hero (depending upon how you
look at it) of boxing has only fought on three occasions. He has never met a
professional boxer who wasn’t making his ring debut.

This Sunday, in Cleveland, the 24 year old will face former UFC legend Tyron Woodley, an extremely impressive mixed martial artist who nonetheless was well past his prime when he retired from the octagon and who is now, like other Paul opponents, making his pro debut. He’s done a wonderful job luring in these UFC notables, Paul has. Last spring he battled Ben Askren, formerly of the UFC, only to knock the man out in the first round. Now comes Woodley, who, although training with the one and only Floyd Mayweather, may not have what it takes at his age to make his mark in the ring no matter how much he may wish to.

What’s ironic, of course, is that the whole thing almost
comes across as a boxing vs mma feud, when in reality it consists of a near
novice battling athletes from another sport well past their glory days. Yet
there’s no doubt Paul is succeeding. The man is bringing money and eyeballs –
mostly young eyeballs – to a sport that has essentially been on the margins for
ages. It’s being reported that boxing is making a considerable comeback lately.
One is left to wonder how much of it has to do with the impact of novelty
fights, like the ones headlined by Paul.

And then there’s the matter of that right hand.

Boxing purists may not like having Paul take all the oxygen
out of the room – and perhaps with good reason – but the kid can swat. Not only
can Paul employ his right hand effectively, he can employ it effectively at the
level of a professional boxer. The shot that turned out the lights on Askren
was impressive by any standard. In fact, any 2-0 fighter who wasn’t named Jake
Paul would have been applauded as a newbie worth keeping an eye on had he laid
out Askren in such a fashion. So no, Paul isn’t a total joke. What’s more, for
all his outlandish behavior, Paul takes the sport itself seriously.

He may be the ultimate hype job, but the social media star
is also an upstart fighter with genuine power and determination. He’s criticized
for taking soft touches, but,  as Paul
himself says, most fighters at the point he’s at career-wise aren’t fighting
major boxers, either. Perhaps that’s something to think about.

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