Six months after suffering his first defeat, YouTuber turned boxer Jake Paul is back in action this weekend as he takes on former UFC contender Nate Diaz in Dallas, Texas.
At 6-1 (4KO), Paul is still in the infancy of his boxing career, but with his level of fame and notoriety, the spotlight is always on and this weekend is no different.
When Jake Paul announced he was making the step into professional boxing back in 2020 it was met with disdain by those in the sport. Traditionally, boxing is a sport that offers people a path to a better life so when a multi-millionaire claimed that he could one day become a legitimate world champion, he quickly made enemies inside the sport.
The biggest problem for Paul is that he is yet to gain the respect of the boxing fraternity and this is largely down to his refusal to fight actual boxers. In seven fights he has fought a fellow internet star, a retired NFL player, three semi- retired MMA fighters and just one professional boxer.
That sole outing against a professional boxer came in February when he fought Tommy Fury, the younger brother of heavyweight champion, Tyson. Much to the delight of those inside boxing, he was beat by decision that night but the fact he fought a professional boxer did earn the American some respect.
However, despite the step forward, Paul looks to be returning to the formula of old this weekend as he invites yet another semi-retired MMA fighter into a boxing ring. Nate Diaz, 38, has had a long and successful MMA career but his ability as a boxer is limited.
Diaz, who hails from Stockton California, is best known for being the first man to defeat Conor McGregor back in 2016. At the time, McGregor was the biggest star in combat sports and seemingly unstoppable until Diaz submitted him in the second round.
Life changed for Nate Diaz after that fight and he quickly became a superstar of the UFC. His anyone, anytime, anywhere attitude has made him a firm fans favourite and he has something Paul desires, the respect of the entire combat sports community.
At 38, Nate Diaz is financially stable for the rest of his life but as a lifelong mixed martial artist, he was never going to turn down an opportunity to fight a celebrity for money. He looks almost insulted to be in the same sentence as a Jake Paul and despite the lack of boxing pedigree, he believes they are simply two men cut from extremely different cloths.
During fight week, it has become apparent that these two men are opposites. Paul has revelled under the lights and with all the media attention but on the contrary, Diaz has failed to engage. The former UFC contender has shown a lack of interest in public workouts, walked out of media engagements, and shown a general discontent for the media circus that surrounds a Jake Paul fight week.
It is easy to pull apart Jake Paul’s boxing credentials but what you can’t doubt is his ability to draw numbers. In a world that is dominated by views, clicks and subscribers, he is top of the food chain and has an exceptional talent of creating viral moments that keep him relevant and that’s what he will be hoping to create again this weekend and he has the right dance partner.
Nate Diaz is not a boxer but he is a born competitor and his ego will not be entertaining the idea that he could lose in a fight to Jake Paul. Technically, Diaz may come up short but his ability to absorb damage and keep coming forward is something Paul hasn’t encountered in his short career.
Ultimately, this is two low level boxers competing in front of a huge audience and as with every Jake Paul fight, the flaws will be exposed on an extreme level. For Diaz, this is about preserving his legacy but for Paul it’s about finally getting some acceptance. Due to the lack of experience, it would be a surprise to see a clean knockout and if it goes to the judges’ scorecards, Jake Paul will hold an advantage. With that in mind, Paul by decision looks the sensible play.
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