WBO cruiserweight titleholder Lawrence Okolie spent some time working out with Jake Paul in Dubai, and shared a shot of the two of them on Instagram:
“Pleasure sharing the ring with Jake Paul today,” he added, which of course led to a lot of moaning in the comments. How could Lawrence Okolie possibly do this, etc.
One fan asked for an “honest assessment,” and Okolie replied, “He’s better than most boxers; people just hate because of his influencer background.”
This is the truth, though most fans only register the amount of boxers they see on TV, and it’s not like the majority of them are watching everything, prelims and “lesser” fight cards and the like.
BoxRec, for what it’s worth, have Paul ranked No. 214 in the world at cruiserweight. That is out of 1,152 listed male cruiserweight boxers in the world who are by their rankings system considered active right now.
A tiny percentage of pro boxers in the world have a story worth one of those video package interviews detailing their long dedication to their craft. Most of them are cashing checks and making some money, with zero hope — or delusion — of ever being some headline star at Madison Square Garden or O2 Arena or a Dubai tennis court.
Paul, of course, does get to headline pay-per-view cards, because he draws money, which — picking names at random from BoxRec’s 201-250 cruiserweights page — Anthony Hollaway and Nikolas Charalampous do not.
Even the buys for his fight with Anderson Silva, which Paul admitted his own disappointment with, were strong by today’s boxing PPV standards, especially with how relatively cheap the event was to put on. If Paul vs Silva really did, say, 200K buys, the low end of Paul’s early estimate, then that beats the combined reported numbers for Andy Ruiz Jr vs Luis Ortiz on Sept. 4 (65K) and Deontay Wilder vs Robert Helenius on Oct. 15 (75K).
And really, either of those fights being a pay-per-view main event is just as bad as Jake Paul having pay-per-views, especially considering you, the Real Boxing Fan, were the target audience, not “Jake Paul fans” and “angry UFC fans with money to burn.” It was your $80 they expected to milk for those fights. The Jake Paul PPV isn’t counting on you, really.
Even if you consider those were Real Boxers in Real Boxing Fights, it’s all the same pile — going 77-85 in baseball sends you very clearly home after 162 games, just like going 68-94. I guess you can argue whose team sucks more, but you’re in the same boat.
Anyway, that’s all I have to say about Lawrence Okolie taking a picture with Jake Paul and saying, “He’s not as bad as all that, really.” Actually, I could go on a while, but for whom, and what purpose?