It’s hard to imagine any observers expected a serious boxing match between YouTube star Jake Paul and former NBA slam dunk champion Nate Robinson.
And yet, what ensued Saturday night at Staples Center still inspired disbelief, concern and, above all, guffaws across social media. Robinson fought as if someone had just given him the gist of the strategy of boxing in the hours before. He repeatedly charged Paul to the point their bodies collided, and was rewarded with a steady diet of counterpunches for his effort.
Robinson was knocked down no fewer than three times, and the final one saw him land on the floor out cold.
The fight was drawing mockery on social media by the end of the first round, but the knockout punch was the true starter’s pistol for a Twitter frenzy. That even included Robinson’s fellow NBA players, like Stephen Curry:
I see no lies
— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) November 29, 2020
Paul Pierce, watching at home, saw his excitement for Robinson turn into ... something else.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 29, 2020
Nick Young — yes, Nick Young — was disavowing Robinson’s performance as representative of the NBA.
That was no representation of the NBA Family lol
— Nick Young (@NickSwagyPYoung) November 29, 2020
And then there was the rest of the sports world:
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) November 29, 2020
There are no amount of dunk contest wins that can overcome that knockout for Nate Robinson
— Brett Anderson (@_BAnderson30_) November 29, 2020
Man what the helll Nate doin 🤣
— Mark Ingram II (@markingram21) November 29, 2020
— Joel “Troel” Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) November 29, 2020
Dudes got the fight IQ of a hamster..
— Billy Q (@BillyQMMA) November 29, 2020
He gon have to deactivate his social media 😳😂 pic.twitter.com/2jhcLjySkJ
— cameron jordan (@camjordan94) November 29, 2020
Just about the only people treating the thing as serious were actual boxers, trainers and promoters, who lamented what Paul and Robinson had reduced their sport to:
That fight should have been stopped twice before that third scary knockdown. Guy needed yo be saved from himself. Wtf CSAC!! That wasn’t a professional who was probably concussed. Did you see the knockdowns?!? C’mon now!!!! #boxing #TysonJones
— Lou DiBella (@loudibella) November 29, 2020
They need to STOP this Stupid Celebrity boxing thing. Boxing is a serious game. Nothing to be doing for YouTube likes. Most amateurs turning pro fight 4 rds these guys debuting in a 6 rdr. Someone’s going to get really Hurt one day. Not cool at All 🤦🏻♀️
— Amanda Serrano 🇵🇷 (@Serranosisters) November 29, 2020
These YouTube celebs making boxing a joke that’s a serious ko because the red gave him every chance to continue for the fans. This is a farce
— Isaac Chamberlain (@IChamberlain_) November 29, 2020
— Teddy Atlas (@TeddyAtlasReal) November 29, 2020
This is why they need to keep these celebrities and YouTube fighters out the ring even against each other they can’t fight and boxing is not a game 🤦🏽♂️ I hope nate Robinson is ok
— JulianJrockWilliams (@Jrockboxing) November 29, 2020
Scary thing is Nate Robinson got licensed to fight a pro fight! 🤦🏽♂️
— Kal Yafai (@iam_yafai) November 29, 2020
Nate Robinson responds on Instagram
Robinson seemed to take it well — or at least as well as he could have.
He took to Instagram after the bout to ensure everyone that he was in fact fine after suffering the knockout blow.
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