Saturday, December 16, 2023

Paul KO's August In 1, A New Beginning?

The fight between aspiring boxer/social media influencer, and celebrity Andre August had the element of the unknowns surrounding it. Although Paul had compiled professional Boxing experience, he had done so against a majority of fighters with little or no previous Boxing experience as most of Paul’s previous opponents came from the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). This fact, along with the fact that most of those fighters, despite being notable names and former world champions in MMA, were arguably past their respective athletic primes, the question of whether or not Paul should be taken seriously remained. Even after suffering a loss to professional boxer Tommy Fury earlier this year in a competitive and close fight, that question still surrounds Paul.

After bouncing back with a ten round unanimous decision over Nate Diaz over the summer, Paul returned to the ring against professional boxer and Texas State Light-Heavyweight champion Andre August on Friday, December 15th at the Caribe Royale Resort in Orlando, FL. The element of the unknown in this fight surrounded August as an opponent in that, despair an impressive record of 10-1-1, with 5 Knockouts going into the bout, he was not well-known even to seasoned Boxing scribes like yours truly.

Although as this observer pointed out in previewing this fight, the fact that August was unknown may have been seen as a red flag to some, the reality is most boxers do not begin their careers with fanfare or buzz and for most, the early portion of their careers consists of fighting against up and coming fighters on a local and regional level as they look to gradually progress towards being considered a prospect, then contender, and then attempting to become a world champion of they progress successfully. This is the conventional way that most fighters approach their careers.

Despite being unsuccessful in being able to find any footage of August prior to the fight, a rarity especially in the YouTube age for this Boxing historian, I viewed this fight as a possible step forward for Paul. In that this was the kind of fight that he would have been fighting had he taken a more conventional route to begin his career. It was also worth taking notice that unlike some of his previous outings, this fight was more about the fight itself as opposed to the event. The location, the Caribe Royale in Orlando, a venue that has quickly become a favorite on the Florida Boxing scene, was one of a more intimate setting compared to larger arenas where Paul's previous bouts have taken place. While that may be viewed by some as a step down, it is common for professional boxers to compete in venues like this on their way up by competing on cards promoted by promoters that have a local and regional reach. 

The difference here was Paul was also the promoter of this card under his Most Valuable Promotions promotional banner. Another aspect of this fight that differed from his other bouts was that Paul appeared to be more serious and that mindset would carry over into the fight as his aura was one of all business once he got in the ring.

While the onus was on August to show what he brought to the table in terms of opposition to Paul, Paul impressed me with his lateral movement, how he tried to give August angles, and how he mixed up his attack by throwing combinations to the body and head. Clearly, Paul had spent time in training refining the basics and fundamentals of Boxing, which is something that even seasoned fighters have difficulty sticking to in the midst of battle. What also stood out was whenever he threw a punch in this fight, it was always in combination and because he seemed aware of his footing, it made it difficult for August, who was seemingly immediately put on defense, to get his punches off.

August did however, manage to connect with a looping right hand that landed flush on the side of Paul's head midway through the first round. Although this was my first time seeing Andre August in action, one thing I noticed was he had a tendency to dip low and to the side whenever he would throw his punches, perhaps in anticipation of what might be coming back from his opponent.

It was this tendency however, which Paul was able to take advantage of that would end the night for August quickly. Moments after he barely missed with an uppercut, Paul threw a double jab, which August tried to dip low to avoid, but as he did, he moved into a perfectly timed and beautifully thrown right uppercut that hit him flush in the face sending him flat on his back on the canvas, the fight was over at 2:32 of the first round.

While there is not much one can say about a fight that lasts two and a half minutes, this was an impressive victory for Paul on scoring box eighth professional win, his first against someone with a Boxing background, and one that should have people talking. As impressive as this victory was, it was still only one fight and it will be interesting to see if Paul continues on this path of figuring professional boxers with his long stated goal of becoming a world champion one day not yet near.

The primary takeaway here is Paul is developing as a fighter and if he continues down this path in 2024 and beyond, continues to get more experience by facing boxers with various styles, and continues to win against those with a Boxing background and can work himself to prospect or fringe contender status within the next year or two, it might then be time to take him seriously. The most important thing for him and his team to keep in mind is A he needs to stay as active as possible, B needs to be facing boxers from here on, and C the novelty fights with either those who are fellows influencers/celebrities or those who have a background in a different combat sport, should now be in the past if he is truly serious about being a boxer. For now, this victory over Andre August should be viewed as a new beginning,i mpressive, and a step forward.

“And That's The Boxing Truth."

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