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Time has come for Jake Paul to prove he’s serious about pro boxing

Time has come for Jake Paul to prove he’s serious about pro boxing

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A good matchmaker is a priceless gift for a promising young professional boxer. Even if they’ve won Olympic gold and dominated at the amateur level, few fighters are ready to fight at the highest levels when they turn pro.

Getting the right fights at the right time is critical for these promising young fighters. Some matchmakers want to put them up against opponents they can easily beat, but that doesn’t help them grow into top-level professionals.

Up-and-and-coming teams require games that push them but do not overwhelm them. A wide variety of fighters, including left-handers, orthodox fighters, and pressure-fighters, must be shown to the students. With matchmakers like this, they’ll be ready to take on world-class opponents when they get there.

Now, Jake Paul is in that position. He’s a 25-year-old boxer who’s determined to succeed in the sport. On ESPN’s “First Take” on Tuesday, Paul stated that he aims to become light heavyweight champion within three or four years of his debut.

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That’s a tall order, given his lack of experience in the ring, both amateur and professional. The four fights that he lost were to fighters making their pro boxing debuts and the fifth was a rematch with a former UFC champion. He’s undefeated with four knockouts.

From YouTube star to ex-NBA player to Bellator champion to two knockout victories over a former UFC champion, Paul has beaten them all.

During a pay-per-view event at Madison Square Garden on August 6, he will take on Hasim Rahman Jr.

It’s safe to say that Rahman, the 31-year-old son of a former heavyweight champion, is far and away Paul’s best opponent. Paul’s first five opponents had a combined 0-1 record when he fought them. They were not boxers.

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For the sake of boxing’s future, it would be advantageous if Paul was a successful fighter. Lord only knows how much positive attention he could bring to the sport of boxing. This is a story that finally portrays boxing in an upbeat light, but let’s face it, he is still a long way off of being an actual professional.

As a professional boxer, he had a great coach in B.J. Flores. As long as he tells me Paul can fight, I’ll take his word for it.

I’ve largely avoided Paul because of his other job as a social media star, which makes it difficult to take his quest seriously. People and public opinion can be manipulated by him because he knows how to do it. Even without fighting anyone of note, he’s done so well at it that he’s already amassed considerable financial success in the sport.

And therein lies the problem. At this point in time, boxing is at an all-time high. Many talented young fighters are beginning to make their mark this year, but Paul is a genius at attracting attention and glossing over the rest of them.

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He’s got the smack talk down, but Flores insists that he has the potential Flores claims he does.

While he’s over 200 pounds, he calls out men who weigh 30, 40, 50 pounds less than him and aren’t boxers. This week, he and former UFC champion Conor McGregor got into a social media spat. The last four fights in which Conor McGregor competed saw him fight at or below 155 pounds.

In the same vein as unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev or unified super featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson calling out a lightweight or super featherweight challenger.

It’s an unsightly sight.

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Rahman Jr. isn’t a child prodigy and he’s certainly not a rising star at 31. He’s a promising young professional who is probably suited to Paul’s stage of development.

Although this isn’t an early Lennox Lewis or Evander Holyfield, he has a tough opponent to deal with. After this fight, whether Paul wins or loses, there will be many unanswered questions about his boxing career.

Because, as I said, I couldn’t verify that or else I would have, this whole thing is built on shaky foundations if he only sold 65,000 copies. Showtime is supporting Paul in an effort to reach a new demographic of viewers.

For Showtime, if the audience isn’t there, they won’t have a show for long.

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We’re well aware that Paul is a natural showman. It’s important for boxers to keep an eye on this because it will help them gain more exposure and strengthen their brands.

For Paul, however, the moment has arrived. If he’s going to be a professional boxer, he must show that he can fight.

A lot of fight fans aren’t interested in seeing these fights because they’re just a bunch of freak shows.

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