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5 reasons the Paul brothers could be good for combat sports

The Paul brothers, Jake (left) and Logan
The Paul brothers, Jake (left) and Logan

Combat sports were brought to the mainstream by the likes of Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson and the Gracie brothers, to name a few. However, a new era has emerged, where combat sports is being influenced by internet stars like the Paul brothers, Logan and Jake.

The Paul brothers shot to fame through online platforms like YouTube and Vine, and in the case of Jake, even the Disney channel. The brothers ventured into the boxing realm only a few years ago but have garnered quite a lot of attention by taking on professional fighters.

While the Paul brothers are not new to criticism for their online antics, they have forced people to mull a serious question: are they good for boxing and MMA? On that note, let's take a look at five reasons why the Paul brothers could be good for combat sports.


#1 Cross-sport match-up

Former UFC champion Tyron Woodley (left) with Jake Paul
Former UFC champion Tyron Woodley (left) with Jake Paul

There has been a long-standing debate about which is a superior martial art - MMA or boxing. The two styles had never before come face to face, except in recent times. Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather's 'Money Fight' was one of the first such examples of a cross-sport match-up; the Paul brothers are now normalizing the trend.

The younger Paul brother, Jake, has found a way to bring MMA stars inside the boxing ring. He first took on Ben Askren in April and is now scheduled to take on former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley in August 2021.

Jake Paul has also been chasing other MMA stars like Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor, too, trying to bring them inside the boxing ring. Jake has appeared at UFC events and became a big talking point after engaging in banter with Daniel Cormier. He also sparred with one of Nate Diaz's teammates inside the octagon.

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#2 The Paul brothers are bringing back retired fighters

Floyd Mayweather (left) and Logan Paul face off.
Floyd Mayweather (left) and Logan Paul face off.

The Paul brothers are giving excellent opportunities to retired fighters to return to the scene and earn big bucks through lucrative bouts. Ben Askren retired from MMA in 2019 but made a comeback for the boxing bout against Jake Paul in 2021.

Another case in point is Tyron Woodley. The former UFC welterweight champion lost his title in 2019 and was let loose by the promotion in 2021 after suffering four straight losses. However, Woodley is now booked to face the younger of the Paul brothers in August.

Many MMA legends and retired fighters can now enter the boxing ring with the Paul brothers and headline major events in the future. That could prove to be good not just for the fighters but also for the fans of combat sports.

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#3 The Paul brothers are widening the global reach of combat sports

Jake Paul addressing his fans in Los Angeles.
Jake Paul addressing his fans in Los Angeles.

Logan and Jake Paul made their amateur boxing debuts at the same event in August 2018. While Logan Paul fought another YouTuber and rapper named KSI, his younger brother Jake fought KSI's younger brother Deji.

The event received nearly 63 million views on pre-fight promotional videos. The fight sold 21,000 tickets and was watched live by around 2.25 million viewers, generating around $150 million in revenue. Going by the numbers, it was the largest non-professional boxing event of all time.

The fight even managed to garner the attention of boxing and MMA greats such as Floyd Mayweather, Tyson Fury and even Michael Bisping. Jake Paul and KSI's rematch, which took place in 2019, sold more tickets than Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz's did.

Meanwhile, Jake Paul started off his professional career with fights against former NBA star Nate Robinson and former MMA champion Ben Askren. His fight against Askren reportedly sold $1.4 million pay-per-view tickets, a number that is as high as the PPVs sold in many of Conor McGregor's UFC bouts.

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#4 The Paul brothers are reviving the sport of boxing

Logan Paul (right) vs KSI 2
Logan Paul (right) vs KSI 2

It has become a well-established and popular perception that boxing is a dying sport. A sport that was once quite popular has now lost fans and prestige compared to its 1960-1980s heydays. The politics of sanctioning bodies, rival promotions and the overall elite structure of the sport have left boxing fans more or less starving for regular action.

The Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao fight took place six years ago in 2015. Due to this void in regular boxing events, exhibition fights like Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr have become a hit among fans. The Paul brothers are bridging this void through their hyped-up and promotion-rich boxing events.

This is one of the reasons that even one of the greatest boxers of the current era, Floyd Mayweather, agreed to fight the so-called "YouTuber" Logan Paul on 6th June 2021.

Even Mike Tyson believes boxing owes a lot to the Paul brothers for its revival. American boxing promoter Lou DiBella talked about the hype the Paul brothers are bringing back to boxing when he said:

"Why is there any interest in watching these 50-something men way past their prime get in a ring? You know why? Cause it’s who the people know, and it’s who the people recognize, and it’s who the people care about. So boxing has to ask itself why are we doing such a terrible job creating personas of fighters that anyone cares about? So I don’t think that these influencers are hurting boxing or helping boxing. I think they’re something unto themselves."

#5 Bigger pay-cheques

Jake Paul (right) celebrates with a stack of cash.
Jake Paul (right) celebrates with a stack of cash.

Conor McGregor reportedly received more than $3 million for the biggest UFC event ever - UFC 229, with the winner Khabib Nurmagomedov earning around $2 million after deducting his fight bonuses. In comparison, YouTube stars like Logan Paul and KSI reportedly earned up to $11 million for a non-professional boxing bout.

Even Ben Askren apparently received a massive pay-cheque for his fight against Jake. His MMA career earnings are reported to be $830,500, but he reportedly earned $500,000 for his boxing bout against Jake Paul in April 2021.

The Paul brothers, through their numerous promotional events and strategies, have brought about an influx of new fans and increased viewership. That has brought in more money to combat sports than ever before.


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Edited by Bhargav
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