What must the likes of Canelo Alvarez, Anthony Joshua, and Terence Crawford think about all of this nonsense? To give positive attention to either of the Paul brothers is an affront to these great warriors because they dedicated their lives and bodies to boxing. Furthermore, to bring McGregor into the same conversation as Jake is also a joke because their impact on combat sports is so different.
The emphasis on pay-per-view returns over competitive achievements is a sign of misplaced priorities by the media and promoters. World-class champions like Billy Joe Saunders, Devin Haney, and Demetrius Andrade should not find themselves fighting on undercards beneath internet personalities. For combat sports purists, this is just unforgivable and tarnishes the value of titles.
First and foremost, boxing is not a joke or game. Every year, on average, 13 boxers die as a direct result of competition. In 2019, the likes of Patrick Day and Maxim Dadashev died from head trauma immediately after their WBO and IBF sanctioned events. Meanwhile, countless boxers suffer from CTE and dementia from their long and brutal careers. These YouTubers don’t understand that it isn’t a game.
Former NBA star Nate Robinson demonstrated that sheer athleticism isn’t enough. Nobody should want to watch an untrained fighter endure a brutal knockout like that. In all likelihood, there will be a serious injury as a direct result of the greed and hubris of these internet personalities and their enablers. While nobody needs to care about Jake Paul’s health, his platform will diminish younger people’s understanding of this sport’s stark dangers.