4 minutes read

Mike Tyson Risking Hard-Won Reputation For Money, Jake Paul Collapses Growing Legitimacy In One Swift Stroke

Mike Tyson Risking Hard-Won Reputation For Money, Jake Paul Collapses Growing Legitimacy In One Swift Stroke featured image
57-year old Mike Tyson (L) and 27-year old Jake Paul (R) are set to feature in the most peculiar 'boxing' match of the year on July 20th at the AT&T Stadium Arlington.

Mike Tyson and Jake Paul both will both be draining down their reputation in the sport of boxing when their planned July 20th fight has commenced. Regardless of the outcome of the fight, both Tyson and Paul prove boxing is no better than scripted professional wrestling with their Netflix live-stream bout seemingly drawing more attention than the undisputed heavyweight fight between Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury, set to occur on May 18th.

To further encapsulate the mockery set to occur when Mike Tyson and Jake Paul face each other in the ring on July 20th, the full details surrounding the heavyweight match-up have been strangely withheld―with the number of rounds and exact composition of the fight [whether it’s an exhibition or professional fight] not yet known.

What is known is that the fight will occur on Netflix, a global streaming service that holds billion of subscribers, and that the AT&T Stadium Arlington will host the exhibition bout, along with other yet-to-be-announced fights, in Dallas, Texas.

In essence, from the details that have been divulged, it is clear that money has become the main incentive, which is a natural course of action for any prizefighter. While earning as much money as possible is expected of a fighter who puts their life and body on the line, the bout between Tyson and Paul is but a caricature of an actual professional boxing bout yet is expected to draw in a record-number of casual fans from both individuals.

Given their bout is widely-expected to be an exhibition, as the Texas Department of Licensing and Registration (TDLR)―Texas’ boxing commission―would be considered unfit to sanction/regulate boxing contests if they approved this bout as a professional fight, the expected fanfare surrounding the bout does nothing to help boxing in the long run.

Neither competitor will be continuing their careers in the heavyweight division, with Mike Tyson too old to even think of competing while Jake Paul, who has enjoyed a fringe career at cruiserweight, is unlikely to compete at heavyweight given the talent, size and power of the boxers at that weight class.

By choosing to face a thirty-years younger man in Jake Paul, Mike Tyson has chosen to willingly put the reputation he has built over his professional career on the line in a fight that he would only pick for money. While no one’s motivation to do anything for money can be questioned, Tyson’s choice does signify the erosion of his “Baddest Man on the Planet” reputation if he does suffer a loss to a fighter that has not come anywhere close to his accomplishments in the sport, and does not have any business fighting any heavyweight over the age of fifty as an active cruiserweight competitor.

Paul’s choice of opponent also represents a clear downturn from his tenure as a professional, having somewhat admirably pushed himself to compete against actual [albeit inactive] professional boxers only to now choose the path of least resistance and easy convenience by choosing Mike Tyson; a very well-recognized former heavyweight who is at least three decades beyond his prime and too old and inactive to compete as an actual professional.

The incentive for Paul, like Tyson, will undoubtedly be for the profits as casual fans, as opposed to hardcore fans, will ignore the numerous factors that prevent their bout from being an actual legitimate or competitive match. While there will be intrigue surrounding what will happen between the two fighters, there is also a form of sinister marketing being applied to the fight that will likely be sanctioned as an exhibition bouts, and further include clauses to prevent either fighter from going all out.

Despite this, the match will be promoted as if it’s an actual fight and both Tyson and Paul will be stooping to portray their fight as a high-stakes match where a knockout can occur; regardless of the nature of their exhibition match prohibiting the possibility of an actual knockout or stoppage transpiring.

Moreover, if the main event between Mike Tyson and Jake Paul is confirmed as an exhibition, the sport does not benefit from a mismatched exhibition bout being showcased rather than any other professional boxing bout between two top competitors. With Netflix known to have one of the widest subscriber bases on the planet, it is a virtual travesty in how boxing will be introduced to the masses unknown to the sport through an exhibition bout that will see a senior citizen enter the ring against a fighter whose only fight against an actual contemporary his age resulted in a one-sided loss.

The argument of boxing potentially benefiting from the event’s exposure due to the expectancy of the Tyson-Paul spectacle drawing in casual fans is but a mere way to excuse the match occurring, as up until this point there have been no statistics produced of boxing fights held throughout the past couple of years having seen any noticeable spike in interest due to exhibition fights such as these.

It should also be noted that through this event, the public’s exposure to actual professional boxing will be limited to seeing two fighters compete in an exhibition with neither fighters being close to be considered top fighters within the sport, driving home the point of how boxing is clearly deteriorating into more of an entertainment spectacle akin to the WWE or AEW with actual boxers―who have spent years improving their craft―being blatantly ignored for the opportunity to feature on one of the biggest-known platforms in the world, in one of the United States’ biggest and most well-known arenas in the AT&T Stadium.