It's no secret that Jake Paul, YouTube star turned pugilist, was riding high on a wave of unwavering self-confidence until February this year. Through an accelerated immersion into the world of boxing, Paul has notched up an impressive half dozen victories in as many appearances, with a standout four of these wins by knockout.
While most of his vanquished opponents have been mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters past their prime, his knockout of Tyron Woodley and the win over Anderson Silva are nevertheless commendable accomplishments in his nascent career.
Facing a Professional Boxer
However, a pivotal turning point arrived in February when Paul first faced off against a professional boxer. In a bout held in Saudi Arabia, he traded punches with Tommy Fury, who exposed Paul's shortcomings in no uncertain terms.
Although Paul lost the match via split decision, there was a consensus among many observers that he should have been defeated by a unanimous decision. Following this humbling defeat, Paul's outspoken claims that he could take on boxers of the calibre of Canelo Alvarez have significantly subsided.
It seems the reality check served by Fury made him realize that he still had a considerable distance to cover before even entertaining thoughts of challenging such seasoned pros. As a result, he refocused his attention on fights against MMA contenders.
Jake Paul Vs. Nate Diaz: The Upcoming Showdown
Nate Diaz, a revered MMA fighter yet to prove himself in professional boxing, is slated to be Paul's next adversary. The fight is due to take place on August 5th. In an interview with BoxingScene, Paul opened up about his newfound dedication to mastering the fundamentals of boxing.
"There were a lot of fundamentals I was making mistakes on. I'm going back to the drawing board. I almost had to go backward to move forward. We relearned and reworked a lot of things, which is a process and a struggle. It kind of feels like I'm starting boxing all over with the fundamentals and basics but it's fine,” Paul confessed.
Paul also reflected on the impact of his loss to Fury, stating, “Losing was something that was definitely not fun or easy. But I think it was good for me for the long run and it made me a stronger man and built a stronger foundation.
It made me have to look at everything, including myself, to reassess and reconfirm my beliefs about what I am doing in this sport. I learned a lot about myself, my mental strength, and what I am capable of pulling through. Now I feel that I am even more mature in many ways because of the loss”.
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