Jake Paul has yet to step into the ring with former NBA star Nate Robinson after nearly a year of trash talk, but he’s already calling out other big names for future boxing battles. Instead of focusing on the multi-time NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion, Paul has turned his attention to UFC’s Ben Askren and Conor McGregor. Paul vs. Robinson serves as the featured undercard bout on Saturday’s card headlined by Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. in Los Angeles’ Staples Center (9 p.m. ET, PPV).
Of course, Paul may not need to focus much on Robinson. While Paul has stepped into the ring both in exhibition and professional bouts, battering a pair of fellow social media influencers for TKO victories, Robinson has admitted that he had not so much as sparred until this year.
“The first time I’ve ever been in a sparring match, it was just eye-opening for me how tired you get at the beginning,” Robinson told Insider. “It was like, ‘Wow, this is what Floyd Mayweather, Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson go through?’ You have to be in really good shape. That was the first thing, I knew I had to get in boxing shape. I could play basketball all day, football, run and soccer, but being in boxing shape is way different. I knew I had to work on a lot, and get started, so I jumped right into it.”
Ultimately, the bout between Paul and Robinson feels like it has lost steam in recent months. A social media influencer battling a former NBA player on the undercard of an exhibition fight between legendary 50-year-old fighters with no fans in attendance feels tame in 2020. And the two have barely factored into the promotion for the card, with the focus on Tyson and Jones.
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That’s a big change from this past November when Logan Paul battled KSI in a social media influencer bout that headlined a card in Staples Center that drew a host of celebrities and sold 216,000 pay-per-views in the United Kingdom alone.
The drip in attention for the younger Paul brother is just the cost of doing business as the B-side of a circus card in a year ravaged by a global pandemic. Or, if you believe Robinson, it’s because Paul hasn’t taken the fight seriously enough to promote it correctly.
“He’s not taking this seriously and is squandering the opportunity,” Robinson said. “He wasn’t saying much at the conference. It doesn’t really matter. That’s just him not being a professional, acting like Jake Paul. I’m not taking shit personal.”
Jake Paul vs. Nate Robinson viewing information
Date: Nov. 28 | Start time: 9 p.m. ET (main card)
Location: Staples Center — Los Angeles
TV: Traditional PPV ($49.99) | Live stream: TysononTriller.com, FITE TV ($49.99)