Boxing legend Mike Tyson took the time to thank Jake Paul and other boxing YouTubers after his fight for making the sport “alive” once again.
“Iron” Mike Tyson reigned as the undisputed heavyweight boxing champion of the world from 1987 to 1990 and is one of the sport’s most well-known stars today.
While Tyson’s popularity hasn’t waned over the years, boxing itself is another story. There are a lot of theories and plausible reasons as to why, but there’s no denying that the sport is nowhere near as big as it once was.
The star power the technically-retired boxer brought to the Nov. 28 bout was sure to draw people in, but Jake Paul on the undercard got a whole new generation to watch, which Tyson thinks is the shot in the arm the sport needs.
“Listen, my ego says so many things, but my reality is they [YouTubers] helped boxing so much,” he told reporters following his fight. “They owe these YouTube boxers some kind of respect, they should give them some belts, because these guys made boxing alive.”
Case in point just shortly after Paul knocked out former NBA player Nate Robinson in the second round of their fight, social media lit up with clips of the shot and various memes of Robinson lying face-down on things; it’s not every day you see boxing topics trending on Twitter.
“Boxing was pretty much a dying sport, UFC was kicking our butt, and now we got these YouTube boxers boxing? 25 million views,” Tyson continued. “Boxing’s going back, thanks to the YouTube boxers.”
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING TOTALLY UNEXPECTED: Mike Tyson says YouTube boxers helped bring boxing back, claims the sport was dead. This after Jake Paul fought in the undercard of his fight yesterday. pic.twitter.com/kCBB5pGxLp
— Def Noodles (@defnoodles) November 29, 2020
There aren’t any solid numbers for how many people tuned in to Saturday’s fight as of yet, but based on how many people were posting about it, it’s safe to say it was one of the most-watched boxing matches of the year.
We don’t know when or if Tyson will fight again, but Jake Paul certainly will, and there’s another big-name marquee on the horizon in September 2021 when two of the world’s strongest men — Eddie ‘The Beast’ Hall and Hafthor ‘The Mountain’ Bjornsson — attempt to settle their rivalry in the ring.
Boxing and social media personalities don’t seem like a match made in heaven at first, but it appears to be working out very well for both sides and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down either.