Few people involved with combat sports have been as polarizing as Logan Paul and his brother Jake Paul over the past couple of years.
Becoming famous through viral videos posted to YouTube as well as “social influencers,” the Paul brothers are household names for millennials. Lately, however, the siblings from Ohio have been shaking up the sport of boxing with both Logan and Jake landing marquee fights and contracts that are usually reserved for the best of the best involved with the sport.
Logan recently went the distance in an exhibition bout against Floyd Mayweather, who is often regarded as the best boxer of his generation. Meanwhile, Jake scored a massive payday for his fight against retired UFC veteran Ben Askren after their card promoted by Triller reportedly sold more than one million pay-per-views.
Following the success of that event, Jake signed a multi-fight deal with Showtime Sports — one of the biggest broadcasters involved with the sport of boxing.
Many purists believe the Paul brothers being involved with boxing diminishes the sport as a whole while also taking attention away from more deserving—and far more accomplished—athletes.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., who comes from one of the most famous families in the sport of boxing, looks at the infusion of the Paul brothers as just further evidence that there’s a changing of the guard happening right now whether hardcore supporters like it or not.
As much as boxing remains a sport, Chavez Jr. acknowledges that entertainment definitely plays a factor — something he fully embraced after accepting a fight of his own against former UFC champion Anderson Silva on June 19 in Mexico.
“Boxing is now more business,” Chavez Jr. told MMA Fighting when asked about the Paul brothers. “Still boxing, it’s a great sport but guys like Logan Paul, they train hard. It’s funny because it’s more business than boxing. But he tries hard so I respect that.
“I cannot say nothing because I’m fighting Anderson Silva. It’s good for boxing. It’s good for me.”
There’s no denying the attention that the Paul brothers have brought to boxing, especially with a younger audience that may not follow the sport all that closely.
While major boxing events still do huge business with ticket sales and pay-per-view, sports like mixed martial arts have trended higher with the 18-34-year-old crowd in recent years.
Regardless of how anybody feels about it, Logan and Jake Paul are polarizing figures who draw eyeballs and Chavez Jr. can’t fault them for taking advantage of the situation.
“I don’t have a problem,” Chavez Jr. said. “But everything is changing with the media. The only thing I want to see is better fights. That’s most important. It’s a hard sport.”