World Boxing Association chiefs welcomed YouTuber Jake Paul to the WBA Convention leading to speculation they are about to rank the wannabe boxer.
Despite never fighting a professional, Paul continues to hold status in the sport on the back of wins over fellow YouTubers and washed MMA stars.
Heading to the WBA’s 100-year celebrations, Paul was presented with a WBA Championship Belt for ‘services to the sport.’ However, many boxing fans now believe sanctioning bodies will get thrown into chaos.
If Paul gets placed in the cruiserweight mix, and there is a spot open at number fourteen, world rankings could become meaningless. Other influencers may also try to take up spots that should only be for professional boxers.
Jake Paul = Non-boxer
The fact a non-boxer may now hold power in the rating system. He could be eligible for a title shot simply because of his number of followers on social media. It is a dangerous precedent to set.
It will subsequently mean real fighters vying to earn their place in the top fifteen would be better served to try to build their social media presence than winning fights.
The role of sanctioning bodies in the sport could then become obsolete. There’s an argument right now that they already have become just that.
Despite the fears of the real boxing fans and media, money seems to hold sway over all else, a problem that blighted boxing in the past.
In welcoming a non-boxer into the mix and labeling him a professional despite never facing or defeating any pros, boxing becomes a joke to other sports that would never do the same.
It seems boxing is the easiest sporting target for deception and manipulating the system. A system that, as we all know, has been broken for some time.
The first two words of the WBA’s statement on Paul should be a stark sign. A sign that anyone with money and followers can hold influence over the longest-running boxing-sanctioning body.
“Professional boxer and influencer Jake Paul arrived on Monday at the Caribe Royale Hotel in Orlando. He participated in the Centennial Convention of the World Boxing Association (WBA),” they said.
“Paul was welcomed by WBA President Gilberto Jesus Mendoza. He joined the Rating committee meeting in the morning hours. Jake Paul presented his perception of boxing and his history within the sport.
“Paul shared with several of the promoters present. They included the legendary Don King. Paul and King had a nice encounter that brought together two different perceptions of promoting boxing and two different epics of the discipline.
“On the main stage, in front of dozens of photographers and journalists, he gave an interesting speech. In addition, former boxer Paulie Malignaggi and WBA President Mendoza were at his side.
“Paul will participate in different activities. He gave his particular point of view on boxing, boxing marketing, and, of course, the growth of women’s boxing.”