Professional Boxing Should Thank YouTubers

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Sonny Fimple

Bengals diehard. Washed up college baseball player looking to get in tune with my creative side. Pete Rose belongs in the HOF, convince me otherwise. #SignedJT

Let’s face it, boxing’s popularity has waned exponentially over the years. Every now and again a heavyweight clash like Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury may draw a lot of attention from the press, but the sport’s popularity as a whole has decreased. The days of flipping the paper and seeing who bested who or listening to a live broadcast on the radio are long gone. Nowadays, in order to catch any kind of fight worth watching, fans have to pay ridiculous prices to catch the bout on pay-per-view. This can be attributed to the sport’s decline as well as the lack of captivating marquee names at the forefront of the professional boxing world.

However, popular YouTube stars and celebrities getting in the ring, as well as the growing popularity of crossover events, has helped bridge the gap between different demographics. It has also created a new boxing environment that is somewhat entertaining. We can thank people like the Paul brothers for this.

Jake Paul & Conor McGregor

On Tuesday, self-proclaimed pugilist and YouTube celebrity Jake Paul took to Instagram to call out one of the baddest men on the planet: Conor McGregor. It’s a bold strategy, Cotton, let’s see if it pays off for him. Jake Paul managed to bring McGregor’s wife into the conversation, ridiculing her appearance and unfollowing everyone on Instagram EXCEPT her. This is insane, yet it’s also marketing genius.

Paul also loomed over the fact that his team issued McGregor a $50 million dollar offer. “$50 million cash, proof of funds, the biggest fight offer you’ve ever been offered. But you’re scared to fight me, Conor!…You’re 0-1 as a boxer. I’m 2-0 as a boxer,” Paul exclaims in his extremely profane Joker-esque monologue. What to do, what to do? Well I’ll tell you one thing I wouldn’t do. I wouldn’t provoke an Irish bull fueled by Proper Twelve that’s what.

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The Notorious One

Paul may forget who he is facing here. The rambunctious southpaw boasts a 22-4-0 MMA record. He backs up every bit of trash talk he dishes out. McGregor had enough guts to step in the ring with the greatest boxer ever in Floyd Mayweather Jr., and even took the man 10 rounds.

But it’s not just about wins and losses, it’s that McGregor has repeatedly stepped stayed true to himself regardless of the outcome. He silenced Eddie Alvarez in two rounds like he said he would to become the first man in UFC history to carry two championships in different weight classes. He was victorious over Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone by TKO in 40 seconds. Even his fourth round loss by submission to Khabib was a spectacle in itself.

The man is one of biggest draws the UFC has ever had. He has been graced with the gift of gab and the skillset to back it up. McGregor equals money in the eyes of Dana White. I guess the 50 million dollar question here is how should “The Notorious” Conor McGregor respond?

Should McGregor Accept?

This could be an easy payday for McGregor. Beating up a YouTuber who disrespected your wife and insulted one of your friends in Dillon Danis could be therapeutic, but also a trap. This is all about publicity for Jake Paul. Maybe this is a scheme to get out of Logan Paul’s shadow, but regardless, it provides entertainment while in quarantine.

Paul’s Recent In-Ring Competition

Jake Paul recently fought former NBA Slam Dunk Champion Nate Robinson in the undercard match at the Tyson/Jones Jr. event. He delivered a brutal second round knockout in the process. Paul already defeated fellow YouTube star AnEsonGib in less than a round, so he now sits at 2-0. Let’s do a little rewind of the tale of the tape here.

AnEsonGib is 5 feet 7 inches with a very scrawny build. Nate Robinson is 36 years old and is 5 feet 9 inches. Jake Paul is 23 years of age is 6 foot 1. Obvious advantage for Paul in the height and age department. But hey, in the name of good entertainment and hilarious memes, keep the celebrity showdowns rolling.

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Renewed Interest In Boxing

Celebrity crossover events have helped revive interest in professional boxing. On February 20th, the 50-0 Floyd Mayweather Jr. will have an exhibition match against YouTube star Logan Paul. Logan, unlike his brother Jake, understands that he will most likely be beaten senseless but is taking the dream match nevertheless.

Logan Paul has also dabbled in boxing, facing fellow YouTube personality KSI in yet another celebrity anchored match that drew a lot of media attention. Do these guys take away from actual professional boxers who have dedicated their entire lives to their craft? Absolutely. I would be livid if I wasn’t as much of a draw as some kid who has made a living off of the number of likes he receives. At the same time, I would be hopeful that more people watching boxing will lead to a new generation of fans.

Whatever the case may be, boxing in all of its personified glory should give YouTubers a little nudge and a quick thank you for keeping the sport alive in such unprecedented times.

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Episode 124