As if the eight-round exhibition between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. wasn’t weird enough, that bout just got an even stranger undercard.
Andy Foster, the executive director of the California State Athletic Commission, confirmed to Yahoo Sports’ Kevin Iole that YouTube star Jake Paul will fight former NBA guard Nate Robinson in an exhibition bout on the undercard of Tyson vs. Jones on Sept. 12.
YouTuber vs. Basketball player
“I wanted to show that I’m a world class athlete, I played college football, played in the NBA for 11 years, and I’m excited for this venture into the sport of boxing,” Robinson wrote in a statement provided to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. “Jake Paul, I want all the smoke.”
“I am excited to partner with Triller and get in the ring to fight an elite athlete,” Paul said in his statement. “But make no mistake, on Sept. 12, Nate will meet the canvas early.”
Of the two, the 23-year-old Paul is the only one who has any formal boxing experience. He fought fellow YouTuber Deji in an amateur boxing match in 2018, and won after five rounds. He made his professional boxing debut in December of 2019 against another YouTuber, AnEsonGib. Paul won by technical knockout less than three minutes into the first round.
Paul has boxing experience, but has never fought a professional athlete — though Robinson, 36, hasn’t suited up for an NBA game since 2016. He was a multi-sport athlete, though, and a dynamite contestant in some of the NBA’s dunk contests.
He even once dunked over Shaq! That experience will help him since Paul is 6-foot-1 and has a four-inch advantage over the 5-foot-9 Robinson. Or maybe it won’t. This is a fight between a controversial YouTube star and a retired basketball player, which is the undercard to a bout between two 50-somethings. Nothing about this makes sense.
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