A publicity stunt gone extremely wrong

Nate Robinson claimed he was “gonna shock the world” prior to his fight against Jake Paul. He sure shocked the world, but for all the wrong reasons.

Robinson knocked out cold, an image anyone online has failed to avoid in the past week.

Robinson knocked out cold, an image anyone online has failed to avoid in the past week.

Alex Kajda, Staff Writer

Nothing comes as surprising in the year 2020. The most absurd headlines and stories can be swept under the radar from other important things occurring in the world. But when Mike Tyson announced he’d return to the ring for one more exhibition match against Roy Jones Jr., it sure made some splashes.

However, the wildest part of the whole event wasn’t even the 50-year-old boxers returning to the ring; it was the out-of-left-field undercard matchup between social media influencer and YouTuber Jake Paul and former NBA player Nate Robinson. The matchup was announced in July and on paper, it seemed like a mismatch from the start. You see, Paul has actually been training ever since late 2017, when a major YouTube event was announced that pitted major Youtubers against one another as the Paul brothers (Logan and Jake) were matched against the Olatunji brothers (KSI and Deji) and the matchups were created respective to the order of their names. Jake fought and beat Deji by TKO and continued his venture in boxing by fighting YouTuber AnEsonGib in January of 2020, whom he easily defeated in the first round by TKO.

Nate Robinson, on the other hand, is well known in the NBA for being, well, vertically challenged. This didn’t deter him from winning three NBA Dunk Contests, though, as he made a name mainly off of that. Robinson’s mostly had a good reputation up to this point as well, being a pretty funny guy and a great character on and off the court. Speaking of off the court, Robinson last played in the NBA in 2015 and decided to now try to get his name back in headlines, which led to him booking the fight. The only problem was, he’d never had any boxing experience of any sort, not even any amateur fights, and his first fight was to be a professional bout; you see where the problem is here.

The fight itself displayed this disparity completely of the start. As while Paul looked composed and professional, Robinson looked out of place and didn’t have much way in terms of technique. It didn’t take long before Robinson fell to the floor, one minute into the 2nd round precisely, and then the internet took the wheel for this story. NBA player Nick Young tweeted “that was no representation of the NBA family lol.” Marcus Morris got straight to the point with a simple “Naw man” and just like that, much of the respect and regard that was held for Nate Robinson was gone in just a few minutes.

Being a professional athlete and getting embarrassed in the boxing ring by a social media star is something that you just can’t return from. It’s going to take weeks or even months before Nate Robinson can reappear without being showered with jokes and memes. Apparently, Robinson was even chatting in a group chat with other NBA players after the fight and was taking all of their jokes well. TikTok even started a #naterobinsonchallenge where people replicate Nate Robinson’s famous position of him knocked out. I’ve rarely seen someone get this disrespected online, but boy I can’t deny that it’s entertaining.

Since the Tyson-Jones fight didn’t quite live up to the hype, this fight remained the story of the event. Another curveball has been thrown in the year 2020, and with one more month to go, who knows what bizarre things we’re going to see come up next.