You can’t underestimate Jake Paul

Samuel Ogali , Courier Staff

The YouTube boxing scene is something that I’ve been watching since the first boxing match between social media personalities Logan Paul and the United Kingdom’s own KSI. Even though their first bout ended in a draw, both YouTubers held their own and, because of their massive followings, were able to acquire over 1.2 million pay-per-views buys.

Now, two years since then, Jake Paul (Logan’s younger brother) has not only continued boxing himself, he’s turned professional and has already had two knockout wins on his record. His recent match with NBA All-Star Nate Robinson was featured on the Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones as the undercard event, but clearly stole the show.

Many people, including myself, thought Jake would lose in a decisive fashion. On paper, Robinson is a three-time slam dunk champion and a legitimate athlete, while Jake is known for outrageous YouTube videos and pranks. Despite all that, Jake outboxed and out-skilled Robinson to the point where he actually made him a meme.    

Now it’s been announced that Jake will be competing against UFC fighter Ben Askren, and once again people are betting against Jake and already writing him off. After seeing Jake’s knockout against Robinson, it would be foolish to not take Jake seriously as a competitor. YouTuber or not, Jake has committed more than two years to boxing and has even trained with the boxing legend “Sugar” Shane Mosely.

I’m not the biggest fan of Jake and there are many times where I’ve despised him, but I’d be lying to myself if I didn’t think he had a chance to beat an actual UFC fighter and NCAA champion in Askren. Jake isn’t stupid and has obviously gone after opponents with considerable followings and athleticism to back it up; and to top it off his trash talking has gotten him attention as well. Jake has said that boxing Conor McGregor is his ultimate goal and even went as far as to disparage his wife to cohort him into a match.

Obviously, such tactics like that are tasteless and disrespectful, but Jake has managed to capture the eyes of combat sportspeople, such as UFC President Dana White. Jake is merely using the trolling and click-baiting tactics he mastered on social media to sell his fights and, to be honest, it’s working.

I know people, especially boxing fanatics, may dislike the thought of YouTubers getting into the ring, but the numbers don’t lie. Jake Paul’s fight and Logan and KSI’s fights have garnered millions of dollars in buy rates and viewership. Social media personalities with a built-in strong audience can very well conquer whatever they set their minds to, even boxing.