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Jake Paul v Tommy Fury Preview - Polarising Boxing

August 26, 2017, was a seminal date in the world of boxing. A balmy summer’s evening in Las Vegas, Nevada, was the setting for the infamous Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor bout which, despite polarising the boxing community, became the second-highest grossing PPV event ever.

From a business standpoint, the idea to merge the worlds of boxing and MMA was genius. From a purist standpoint, the bout was nothing more than a disrespectful cash-grab. Boxing was no stranger to the tacky and the sensationalist, but the McGregor vs Mayweather showdown seemed to propel the sport to new levels of attention-seeking.



Controversial Figure

Enter Jake Paul - the younger brother of Youtuber Logan Paul - whose boxing debut occurred almost exactly a year after Mayweather and McGregor’s Vegas showdown.

Paul has attracted controversy wherever he’s been, from widely-panned his widely panned It’s Everyday Bro single to allegedly riding a quad-bike over a protected Puero Rican beach.

He certainly has his fans, but the Youtuber has always had an approval rating of around 50/50 - each side just as passionate. 



Why Boxing Needs Jake Paul

But this is why boxing needs him. People love to hate Jake Paul, and that’s precisely the reason why his fights are so widely-discussed and viewed. People will buy his PPV fights regardless of whether he wins or loses, and his polarising personality represents box-office dynamite. Paul’s 2021 bout versus Ben Askren registered 1 million buys and his debut received an impressive 700,000 buys - not bad for a first pro-fight. 

The anticipated matchup between Jake Paul and Tommy Fury will likely overtake both fights and be among the biggest fights of the entire year. It also helps that Paul has been, despite his notoriety, more impressive in the ring than a lot of people expected.

He may not fight top-quality boxers, but Paul’s string of victories have been key in building his brand and he’s not the only boxer whose early fights have been contested against inferior opponents. Yes, his defence is weak and he still has a long way to go to win-over the traditionalists, but the building blocks are becoming somewhat visible. 



Marmite Characters Needed

In fact, both of the Paul brothers have impressed in their respective fields - with Logan performing well in WWE as both an athlete and an entertainer. People may strongly dislike Jake Paul, but that doesn’t stop them from coughing up the money to watch him fight. 

The more outlandish and outspoken its performers are, the more relevant boxing will stay in the long-run. Faced with the growing profiles of UFC and Bellator, ‘Marmite’ characters are needed in boxing more than ever. No matter who you’re backing for the Paul/Fury fight on February 25, it’s impossible to deny the spectacle of the event and the PPV numbers will surely reflect that. 

The 26-year-old Jake Paul will become a PPV mainstay unless his reputation softens. In boxing, you can either be supremely-talented or supremely-discussed, and Paul has certainly embraced the latter camp his entire career. 

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V: 1.35.0 All rights reserved. August 2021
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