In a new series, published every weekday on Boxing Social, the incomparable Terry Dooley delivers his unique look at the boxing news.
Jake Paul’s boxing career continues to be a gift from the gods for anyone out there who wants to knock a news story devoid of original quotes or an aggregate news piece together but is not quite sure where to start. Paul (4-0, 3 KOs) is boxing’s version of Candyman, it is claimed that if you say his name five times he will turn up and murder the sport.
Well, we say he’s “Killing the sport of boxing”, but if by that we mean he’s generating money and attention then we need to redefine our notion of killing something. It is probably more accurate to say that the YouTuber turned boxer is simply showing how ridiculous this business can be and how easily it can be exploited.
Whether this is a good or bad thing depends on your perspective. Those who think it is good have their arguments, those who think it is bad have counter ones. One thing that should be pointed out is that anyone who has trotted out the “You have to respect anyone who steps into that ring” line, usually as a response to personal criticism or when fans trash talk, have been drawn in hook, line and sinker by Paul.
Former boxers are and have been lining up to criticise him, but one thing we can all agree on is this: You have got to respect any man or woman who steps into that ring. Today’s news search threw up over 90 published stories about boxing, all but a few of them were about Paul and the quotes contained in them are all the same. So away we go.
Numerous outlets have reported that Paul is set to retire from boxing altogether following his split decision win over Tyron Woodley (0-1, no KOs) on Sunday night after the 24-year-old took to Twitter and announced that he is now a former boxer. That’s it, that’s the Tweet that launched a thousand regurgitated stories.
‘Updated status: Retired boxer’, Tweeted Paul despite claiming that he had sold the fight so well it had generated over 1.3 million PPV sales. However, despair ye not as he also claimed that a rematch with Woodley was doable as long as the former UFC fighter got an ‘I love Jake Paul’ tattoo should he lose again, with strict criteria as to how it should be done.
‘Tyron’s tattoo guidelines – 1. 3×2 inches at least, 2.’ said Paul when talking to Twitter. ‘2. Can’t get it covered, 3. Permanent, 4. Must post on social media, 5. Has to be visible with shorts and shirt on.’
Tommy Fury (7-0, 4 KOs), Tyson’s brother, beat Anthony Taylor (0-2) by decision on the undercard and has been rumoured to be Paul’s next opponent. Indeed, the 22-year-old confronted Paul after the contest and asked to fight him next. “You need to stop running my friend,” said Fury when caught on camera by BT Sport. “Take the fight.”
“I think I might need to chill out for a second and figure out who I am,” said Paul when reflecting on his win. “It was a tougher fight than expected. All respect to Tyron. He’s a hall of famer [Writer’s note: Obviously not in boxing, not even James Toney can get into the HoF due to our strict collective moral compass], he’s a good fighter. I’ve been boxing for 18 months now. I haven’t been to the dentist…I’m changing, I’m growing, I’m learning a lot.”
Many current and former fighters have blasted Paul for disrespecting the sport of boxing — they are correct, we should all just sit back and continue to watch the sport destroy and disrespect itself — but the whole thing was summed up by Julian “J-Rock” Williams, who Tweeted: ‘I just wasted 30 precious min of my life that I’ll never get back I’m upset at myself.’
Williams should be upset, as he succinctly summarised why Paul can continue to make money from the sport. You pay for it; you watch it and then some get struck with the sense of shame that I’m told some people feel after masturbating. Once you’ve released those life essences you end up a husk of a man, just like General Jack D. Ripper from Doctor Strangelove. Ah well, there is a simple solution to all of this: just don’t pay for or watch Paul’s fights.
Speaking of pay, multiple news outlets, blue tick Twitterers and even Paul himself reported (i.e., retweeted) that he pulled an Iago by taking a million dollars out of his purse and spreading it throughout the undercard, something some fighters have talked about doing, but few have actually achieved.
Woodley got an extra $220,000, Taylor, Fury’s opponent, benefited to the tune of $50,000, and Daniel Dubois turned the same amount down due to his loyalty to Tommy Fury, who was snubbed by Paul.
What an incredible gesture if true, but it isn’t, the figures were made up by boxing Twitter legend @ReallyNiceDerek and took on a life of their own even before Paul retweeted them. The fact that so many outlets and people were taken in by this tells a story of its own, quite a depressing one if you used to believe in the sanctity of the news beat. It is a nice summation of the current ‘Copy, paste, top and tail — now publish!’ approach to reporting.
The icing, the cherry and the indoor firework on top of this particular cake was that Del G listed Woodley’s country as the UFC and people still fell for it. The fact that Jake Paul is trolling the sport is one thing, the fact it hands fans even more material to troll the sport is quite another and only adds further value to his career.
In other news, Belfast’s Anthony Cacace (19-1, 7 KOs) out-boxed Lyon Woodstock (12-3, 5 KOs) to retain his British Super featherweight title on Saturday night and his manager Pat Magee, has told David Kelly of the Belfast Telegraph that they are plotting a route to a world title shot.
“I think everyone was surprised by just how good Anthony was on Saturday night,” he said. “I knew it was there and he just had to show it. Now we have him pencilled in for a fight in early December and my long-term goal for him is to headline the Falls Park next August at the Feile in a world title fight.”
“Hopefully by that stage he will have won a world title because without doubt his next fight will be one that pushes him towards a world title shot,” he added. “The British title has served its purpose and now he has to move on to a bigger challenge which he can’t get in the UK. I know Anthony would be up for the Archie Sharp fight, but my understanding is that Sharp wants to protect his WBO ranking.”
“With more fights you’re going to see much more from me,” added Cacace. “I’d been out of the ring a long time, otherwise I think I’d have stopped him but credit to Woodstock because he is one hard man.”
Barry McGuigan’s daughter, Nika, died of cancer two years ago yet her memory lives on in the form of her final film. Nika co-stars in Cathy Brady’s Wildfire, which is released this week and had its Irish premier this weekend.
The film was shown as part of the Clones Film Festival at Barry McGuigan Park and the former featherweight world titlist and his wife, Sandra, accepted their daughter’s posthumous IFTA Film and Drama Best Actress in a lead role award.
“Our hearts are broken that Nika is not here to see the success of her last performance, but my family and I are comforted to see it on the big screen with our friends, family and the community in Clones,” stated McGuigan.
The film will be in cinemas in Ireland from Friday.
Main image: Sthanlee B. Mirador/Sipa USA