Despite The Win, Reality Hits Home For Jake Paul
Jake Paul had his first ‘proper’ fight overnight in Cleveland, the YouTube star survived a scare but went home with the victory and crucially, a better understanding of what is to come if the boxing journey continues.
Paul (4-0) deserves credit for daring to walk through the ropes, but it is one thing carefully picking opponents to fighting real boxers which will be his future if this part of his life goes much further.
Fighting fellow YouTuber’s, basketball players and raiding the UFC retirement home can only last so long. Eventually, he will have to face a boxer of at least some note, which is where the story is likely to end.
Tommy Fury failed to impress again earlier in the night, but even a still raw Fury would be far too much for Paul. Despite his own limitations being exposed, Fury will likely not receive the call he desires. If Fury is indeed swerved, and KSI is welcomed to the party, you know which direction the Jake Paul content will take.
Tyron Woodley bitterly complained about his split-decision loss over 8 rounds of largely mediocre action. But the reality was, apart from that moment in the 4th round, he did very little to justify his demands for a rematch.
Woodley plodded forward, sleepwalking his way through the fight akin to how his UFC career petered out. The former UFC welterweight champion couldn’t or wouldn’t pull the trigger. He could have won, he should have won, he didn’t and will regret plenty as his hopes for a rematch will surely fade as the days and weeks go on. Sometimes in life, you get one chance, Woodley is highly unlikely to get another at Paul.
Paul showed limited skills which is understandable considering his time in the sport. But he looked ready for the taking from round 4 onwards, if Woodley had shown any semblance of urgency, Paul would likely have folded. The demeanour of Paul afterwards was of a man wondering what he had got himself into. Make no mistake, this will only end one way. At the moment it is a bit of fun, showbiz in a sport which doesn’t need another circus coming to town. But that fun will have to carry a bit more substance going forward. I have no doubt Paul is serious about his intentions in boxing, but even a near 40-year-old from another sport making his professional boxing debut has probably left Paul thinking it can only go so far.
The whole show in fairness was a lot better than most, far better than many would have expected. Amanda Serrano in particular will gain plenty from the exposure she received. Paul has raised issues about the low pay in the UFC and reportedly enhanced the take home pay of several fighters on this card, and deserves credit for many things.
Paul is annoying for sure, he plays his character extremely well, but he is also smart and knows how to make money. But he would be better advised to find another way, eventually, he will learn that boxing is a serious business where people get hurt.
Paul is the master salesman, but very soon he will run out of things to sell in a sport that will soon tell him he doesn’t belong.
Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/Showtime