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MAGNO'S BULGING MAIL SACK: JAKE PAUL, RUIZ, WILDER, TAYLOR-TEOFIMO, BOO BOO, BOOTS, MORE...

By Paul Magno | March 02, 2023
MAGNO'S BULGING MAIL SACK: JAKE PAUL, RUIZ, WILDER, TAYLOR-TEOFIMO, BOO BOO, BOOTS, MORE...

It is with a heavy heart that I pass along the news that our beloved sport of boxing has died, dealt a death blow by this past weekend’s Jake Paul-Tommy Fury bout in Saudi Arabia. Just kidding. We survived (although a few boxing “purists” surely dehydrated themselves with fits of rage-induced bed wetting). Anyway, this week we have comments/questions regarding Jake Paul, Boo Boo Andrade, Jermall Charlo, Taylor-Teofimo, Ruiz and Wilder’s PBC future, and Boots Ennis.

Jake Paul, Still Pissing Nerds Off

What's good P Mag?

Jake Paul continues to cause a stir amongst the "purists" in boxing. They seem a little upset and have spewed that Paul is hurting the sport. He's not. He's adapted to the times, where other promoters are still stuck in the dinosaur age. Honestly, I hope Paul continues to piss off the "purists". Care to elaborate?

– Big Moe

Hey Big Moe.

Boxing is a weird sport. By its nature and the nature of the men and women who do battle in the ring, it lends itself to being wildly romanticized. And what we have now is an entire subsect of boxing fandom which has romanticized the sport’s past to such a degree that nothing will ever match up to it. In recent years these “purists” have become real sour-pussed killjoys in the boxing scene and have actually pushed against necessary changes, reforms, or even modest tweaks made to make the sport more inclusive to outsiders (aka, the dreaded “casuals). Jake Paul and the entire celebrity boxing phenomenon have run afoul of these curmudgeons who just won’t stop whining about “their” sport being somehow tainted.

When cornered on the subject, they can’t really explain why these fluff fights are harming boxing. They’ll babble something about guys like Jake Paul taking all the money and attention that should be going to “real” fighters. They’ll go on about the circus of it all degrading the sport. But that’s all bullshit and it makes no sense whatsoever. They don’t like the Jake Paul stuff because it clashes with their romanticized fairy tale idea of what boxing has to be. That’s the only reason. 

Well, these people need to get over their pearl clutching nonsense. If they really love the sport as much as they say, then they’d recognize that boxing needs growth and outreach, especially to the youth. And studies lead one to understand that Jake Paul and other celebrity boxers are pretty much single-handedly keeping the sport relevant in the minds of young fans. 

Mind you, this ain’t high-end boxing we’re seeing from these people. Who ever said it was? But anything that has young people getting into the sport at any level is a positive. I know from first hand experience with my nieces, nephew, and godson that the only time they ever talk boxing is when one of these YouTuber/Influencer fights pop up. On a few occasions, that interest had led to video watching sessions involving “real” boxers. The Floyd Mayweather-Logan Paul exhibition, specifically, had a living room full of teens enthusiastically searching for Mayweather highlight videos after the bout.

There’s no way that kind of stuff is bad for the sport. And there’s no way that the recent Jake Paul-Tommy Fury mainstream attention from outlets such as CNN, Variety, and Rolling Stone is bad, either. 

I’m not saying that these celebrity fights are the cure-all for boxing’s ailments. But they DO represent one of many fixes to boxing’s problems. Stepping on them and pouting about all these kids ruining “your” sport is the kind of self-defeating attitude that put boxing in a place where it’s at now, where outsiders are bigger, more marketable fighters than the actual fighters. 

We need more fighters and promoters who work like Jake Paul does.

Boo Boo, Charlo, Boots

Paul,

Hope all is well with you.

I have 3 questions here:

With Benavidez vs. Plant coming up in the 168 classwe have already discussed the outcomes of these fighters against Boo Boo Andrade. But what do you think of him against Canelo? Obviously it’s personal and the reason for Andrade to move up to this weight class. I say Canelo is too scared to ever take this fight. 

Or Andrade left 160 because the champions there won’t fight. 

So, where is Charlo? He fought Montiel 3 years ago. Thats it. ESPN just removed him from its rankings for inactivity. 

Last question. On the 147 class, why do we all talk about Spence, Crawford, Ortiz when the best is Jaron “Boots” Ennis? What is it I don't see besides promotion? Undefeated with more wins than any of them yet no one talks about him. I think they’re all scared.

Sorry for random questions here. Just my thoughts.

Thanks.

Brian C.

Hey Brian.

I don't think Canelo is afraid of Andrade. Canelo won't jump to face Andrade for the same reason Andrade opted not to face Janibek Alimkhanuly or Charlo, back when he had a bigger name, better connections, and higher rankings than Charlo. It's the risk vs. reward assessment that all fighters' teams consider. If you're the bigger name with more options and greater career self-determination, why would you take on an unnecessary risk against someone who will bring you little return? In Canelo's case, Andrade wouldn't bring in a single PPV buy more than any of the guys he's fought recently, but he'd make for an awkward stylistic matchup that might either make him look bad or cause the fight to be a stinker. An opponent like John Ryder will sell fewer PPVs in the States than Andrade, but he also presents much less risk and is more tailor made to make Canelo look good. It's all about options and whether you have them. Andrade uses the same risk vs. reward decision making, just at a lower market level.

Andrade's career has been bogged down with poor career decisions and uneven, uninspired performances that have undercut his marketability. He's an outstanding boxer with elite-level skills, but if he can't bring an audience (revenue) to an A+ fight, why would a more bankable opponent go out of his way to fight him? And, given that Andrade has not shown a willingness to face risky opposition beneath his own station to build his brand, it looks unlikely that he will ever get to that point where he has anything to offer a true A-side. He's made some good money as a free agent at a time when networks thirsted for content and were willing to operate in the red, so he'll have that to fall back on. But I don't think he'll ever get the legacy-defining fights a true competitor would like to have under his belt..and it's mostly his own fault.

Jermall Charlo, just from what I’ve gathered from online chatter, has had some personal problems that have kept him from the ring. I sympathize, but also feel that his title should be stripped and the division allowed to move on. He can always come back and reclaim his spot later. 

Jaron Ennis does get attention and has started to get a good amount of press. However, some media and fans are also quicker to diminish him when he doesn't look absolutely perfect (like in his last bout against Karen Chukhadzhian) than they are with fellow 20-something young lion, Vergil Ortiz. It's part of the good ol' double standard we have in boxing, but that's a theme for another day. I agree, though, that Ennis may turn out to be better than all of the current elite at 147. He'll get his chance to prove that soon enough.

Taylor-Teofimo, Ruiz and Wilder and PBC

Hi Paul.

Hope you and your family are doing well, welcome to March.

First, I will try to stay away from Garcia vs Davis stuff as I know someone else might approach you about this, so I will move on to Teofimo vs Taylor. I would probably label this as a battle of incompletes. Both guys owes us fans rematches (Taylor vs Caterall and Teofimo vs Kambosos, Martin and Loma). I got mixed feelings about this matchup as the loser might lose their "momentum" in a big manner. In an ideal world, I would like for both to fix their messes and then revisit this fight, but I know the boxing world does not bow against my wishes. I got Taylor winning comfortably against Teofimo. So sad he [Teofimo] regressed bad since his win against Loma.

Secondly, am I seeing a trend or am I just paranoid? There have been announcements from Wilder and Ruiz that claim that they are free agents, but they have not mentioned that they broke ties with Mr. PBC though. Are we seeing a new strategy by PBC where they remove the minor promoters they were outsourcing (as in TGB) so they can solely focusing on the fighters being "advised"? What do you think about this?

Best Regards,

– Miguel

Hey Miguel.

Surprisingly enough, nobody asked me this week about Tank-Garcia, so we’ll just let that topic simmer.

I see your point with Taylor-Teofimo. I also would’ve preferred to see them handle their “messes,” although I can totally understand from a managerial standpoint why Teofimo may want nothing more to do with Martin and Lomachenko. I would’ve enjoyed a Teofimo-Regis Prograis fight for Prograis’ WBC title as well, and it was doable since Teo was the top available contender. 

But I understand why Taylor-Teofimo got put together. Both are Top Rank guys. Both may be on the downside (and/or very much in need of a big, triumphant moment). Matching them together ensures that at least one of them stays at the top as a high-end, marketable presence (at least for a bit longer). Say what you will about Top Rank, but their talent assessment is generally right on and if they’re willing to make this kind of “from two, there will be one” fight with two of their top guys, it’s because they see both as vulnerable. 

I do like the fight, though, and I also see Taylor winning. It’s a damn shame how Teofimo’s career has been mishandled. Two-and-a-half years ago, he was a legit “next big thing” and a true mega-marketable presence. His team has skirted around Top Rank’s tried and true star building strategies and got too full of themselves for their own good. Their world is now coming down around them. And, because of that, I don’t think Top Rank is necessarily all that interested in doing anything with Lopez anymore, other than riding him down for as long as it’s still profitable.

Ruiz and Wilder have both publicly stated that they are still with Team PBC, despite moving on from their promotional deals. I don’t know if this is a planned strategy, but it certainly makes sense to simplify their business dealings (and maximize their earnings) by cutting out as many of the middlemen as possible. This falls in line with PBC’s general business dynamic of shifting power away from promoters and into the hands of the fighters, themselves. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out because, as far as I still recall, most commissions require there to be a promoter on record when it comes to sanctioned boxing events. 

Got a question (or hate mail) for Magno’s Bulging Mail Sack? The best of the best gets included in the weekly mailbag segment right here at FightHype. Send your stuff here: paulmagno@theboxingtribune.com.

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