By: Sean Crose
Someone somewhere must give Jake Paul this. He’s funny. Some might think he’s crass, or mildly amusing at best, but there’s no doubting the social media star turned up and coming fighter knows how to sell a fight through off the wall promotional tactics. Take Monday morning, for instance, when Paul put out a goofy video to chide the opposition as well as to draw attention to his August 6th fight with Hasim Rahman Jr. In said video, Paul is laid out in a hospital bed, tubes and monitors attached to his body.
“So guys,” Paul says to the camera. “I’m in the hospital. I had an accident.” He then insists he’ll still be fighting Rahman in their scheduled pay per view event at Madison Square Garden in a few weeks. “I’m still gonna be able to fight August 6th,” he says, “so get your tickets at msg.com before they sell out. But I broke my back carrying the promotion for this event. It’s broken.” Paul then goes completely over the top by calling in a scantily clad “nurse,” to help him.
“Nurse, nurse!” he screams. “More morphine! I broke my back carrying the last five fight’s promotion. My opponents never sell shit. Ah it hurts! Do something! It hurts!” Paul then wraps thing up by bolting upright. “These motherfuckers never sell shit!” he says in conclusion. “They couldn’t sell a pen to a writer!”
While it’s true boxing is that most serious of endeavors, one in which competitors can – and have – been severely hurt and even killed, a comical approach can often prove helpful to selling an event. And Paul certainly knows how to sell one. Like fighters before him such as Muhammad Ali and even Conor McGregor, Paul is keenly aware of the fact that seemingly absurd antics can pay off in a big way. He may be no where near the level of a great fighter, but Paul has sharp insight into what makes a match a financial success.
It’s going to take more than showmanship for Paul to best Rahman Jr in August, however. The son of former heavyweight champ Hasim Rahman Sr is a professional fighter, and has been from years. That’s one of the things that separates him from all of Paul’s previous opponents, who – although some were former MMA stars – had virtually no ring experience before engaging in a professional boxing match. That’s another thing about Paul – he’s apparently willing to take risks. His humor may not be for everyone, but no one can argue the guy doesn’t have grit.
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