Thursday, December 14, 2023

Paul-August Preview

The career of aspiring Cruiserweight boxer and social media celebrity Jake Paul is set for one more chapter to close out 2023 as he will return to the ring on Friday, December 15th at the Caribe Royale Resort and Casino in Orlando, FL. Paul’s return to action, which will headline a card promoted by his own Most Valuable Promotions promotional company and be broadcast worldwide on digital subscription sports streaming network DAZN will be his ninth fight as a professional boxer, but one might argue, could represent a legitimate step forward in that career. Paul’s previous outings in the Boxing ring have come against either fellow influencers/celebrities, one former NBA All-Star, retired MMA fighters with little or no Boxing experience, and one boxer in Tommy Fury, who was more known as the brother of current WBC Heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury, and who was also known as a reality TV star in the United Kingdom. 

Despite that, Fury, who was unbeaten as a Cruiserweight boxer was able to hand Paul his first defeat as a pro boxer in defeating him via eight round split decision when they met in February of this year in Saudi Arabia. In his last fight in August of this year, Paul returned to what had been for better or worse, a successful formula when he faced MMA star Nate Diaz and scored a lopsided ten round unanimous decision over him in a fight where he was able to knock Diaz down and show evolving Boxing skills in the process. Beyond restoring his confidence after suffering the setback against Fury, this observer stated in his post-fight coverage of Paul’s victory over Diaz that there would come a point where those that have entered Boxing from a different background whether they be from YouTube or other forms of being an influencer, will have to realize that the standards of the sport will need to be respected. Meaning, that if those who have entered the sport from outside realms are truly serious about wanting to pursue a legitimate Boxing career inside the ring and challenging for world championships, as Paul has stated several times is one of his goals, they would need to fight those with a Boxing background and get the experience needed to get into a position to challenge for a world championship, which is no different than any other boxer who turns professional after competing in the amateurs and those who have turned professional with no previous amateur experience. 

Paul’s opponent on December 15th will come in the form of professional boxer Andre August. While this is a departure from Paul’s previous opponents in that August is not particularly known, even in Boxing circles up to this point, he is a fighter based out of Houston, TX and sports a record of 10-1,1, with 5 Knockouts in twelve professional fights. While August has not fought a notable opponent in those twelve bouts, he has won a Texas State championship in the Light-Heavyweight division in his young career, which began in May of 2013. Although a state championship in professional Boxing may not be seen as significant to some given the numerous regional and world championships and sanctioning organizations, which populate the sport, in actuality fighters that initially start out in professional Boxing do occasionally fight for a state title as they look to progress in their careers. In terms of what August brings to the table, that is the unknown that surrounds this fight as there is not much footage that could be found, by yours truly, who is a noted historian and one who has spent countless hours studying fight films for virtually my entire life. 

Despite the appearance of a possible red flag in that someone as seasoned as this observer could not find any footage of August prior composing this column, what I can say is that he has won his last five bouts, with one of those wins coming by knockout. August’s lone defeat came in September 2018 when he was stopped by a fighter named Eric Abraham in two rounds in Houston, TX. Even though there is not much to go on regarding Andre August going in, one possible advantage he might have is simply the fact that he has taken a more conventional route in his Boxing career, whereas Paul’s due to both his celebrity as well as the unconventional route he has taken, has been featured prominently in Boxing’s spotlight, though there might be some who feel that could be both a good and bad thing for the sport depending on one’s perspective. The advantage for him could be that some might view his resume as one that is somewhat under the radar and there is at least a possibility that Paul may not know much about the fighter he is facing, but August does have the opportunity to study every one of Paul’s previous bouts, which could at least in theory give him an edge going into the fight.

While there is simply not much to go on in terms of analyzing this bout, the reality is these are the types of fights any fighter needs to compete in as they look to progress from prospect, to contender, to potential world title challenger down the line. Although this is only one fight, it would seem that Jake Paul would appear to be showing that he is indeed serious and no matter what might happen in this fight, it will be interesting to see if he continues on this path, because after all, there is only so much one can truly learn by facing several fighters with little or no Boxing experience and those who while having combat sports experience in other disciplines, most notably in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), were towards the end of their competitive careers when Paul fought them. Even though those fights did draw significant attention and may be seen as a young kid getting his feet wet in a sport, it was an approach that was flawed, which was to a degree exposed when he fought someone with more than sporadic Boxing experience. At least this fight appears to be an initial step forward.

What Andre August brings to the table in this fight and how Jake Paul will be able to deal with that is something that remains to be seen.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

Paul vs. August takes place on Friday, December 15th at the Caribe Royale Resort and Casino in Orlando, FL. The fight as well as its full undercard can be seen on digital subscription sports streaming network DAZN beginning at 6PM ET/3PM PT with preliminary bouts, which will be followed by the main card that will begin at 7:30PM ET/4:30PM PT. 

(*U.S. Times Only*)

(*Card and Start times Subject to Change.*)

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