You don’t “play” boxing. Eleven-year NBA veteran Nate Robinson found that out the hard way Saturday night in a bout against YouTuber Jake Paul on the undercard of the Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones exhibition match.
Boxing is not a sport you learn in three to four months. It’s not something you pick up on the side — like, say, golf — and then get in the ring in a competitive situation. Paul is 13 years younger than Robinson and has seemingly dedicated himself to training and improving. It was a colossal mismatch.
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The three-time slam dunk champ was knocked down three times in his professional debut and eventually KO’d in the second round. It didn’t help that he was decked out in New York Knicks colors on his trunks and shoes while taking the beating. The layers of irony are onion-esque.
Hopefully Robinson is OK physically. It will take a while for him to live this down publicly. Social media has dragged Robinson relentlessly since he first hit the canvas in the opening round.
In what retrospectively counts as the classic kiss of death, Robinson dedicated the match to his “NBA brothers,” among others, in a pre-fight tweet.
Will one of Robinson’s NBA brethren avenge his embarrassing loss and take on Paul in his next bout? Former Sixer Evan Turner was contemplating it.
Turner even doubled down on calling out Paul after another former Sixer, Thaddeus Young, and even Doc Rivers’ daughter (and Seth Curry’s wife), Callie Rivers Curry, asked him to rethink it.
Turner has at least five inches and 40 pounds on Paul, so on paper it’s a fight across two different weight classes. Robinson and Paul weighed about the same and were only separated by a few inches. It was an even fight as far as measurables but the pair were eons apart regarding skill.
Maybe Rivers Curry’s plea was the one that got through to Turner, because he soon realized that Father Time is undefeated.
The memes and jokes about Robinson’s loss are everywhere. It’s clear the sweet science is not something you should ever take lightly. I’m not saying Robinson did, but he was clearly overmatched in his fight against Paul and he paid a steep price.
Turner has come around and realizes his vulnerability, but before he 86’ed a foray into the ring, he had his sights set a lot higher than Jake Paul.
British heavyweight and former world champion Anthony Joshua is 6-foot-6 and 240 pounds. Let’s all just agree that it was Turner’s sense of humor talking. I think it’s the smart move for everyone involved, especially ET.