A Saturday night at Staples Center resulted in YouTube star Jake Paul standing in the corner, former NBA dunk champion Nate Robinson out cold on the floor and millions of pay-per-viewers wondering what on God’s green earth they had just watched.
Officially, the boxing match ended midway through the second round as a Paul KO, but calling it a boxing match might be generous.
It did end with a punch, but what came before was a preposterous rinse-and-repeat of Robinson charging his opponent, taking a counterpunch or two, then clinching until any more action was impossible. Robinson became an NBA fan favorite through his lack of height in a league of giants, but in this sport, he was unable to find a distance where he could evenly trade blows with the 6-foot-1 Paul.
Perhaps the most ridiculous moment came when Paul knocked Robinson down the first time. After a generous count for Robinson to get back to his feet, the ex-guard rushed toward Paul yet again, then fell to the floor in a move befitting a wrestling match.
Two more knockdowns awaited Robinson in the second round, the latter putting him down for good:
The lack of skill on display was already making waves on social media, but Robinson’s body hitting the floor triggered a tsunami of mockery and disbelief. Did people really pay money for this fight? Why wasn’t it stopped sooner? Did anyone involved in the event even see Robinson box before booking him?
Even Nick Young, arguably the NBA’s meme king, was joining the laughter. Along with the rest of the NBA.
NBA players react to Nate Robinson’s KO loss
Robinson’s biggest defender might have been Paul, who said he was somehow expecting even less than what Robinson showed.
“He was better than expected, he’s athletic, super-strong obviously,” Paul said. “His basketball career has been amazing and I don’t want to take anything away from him. It takes a lot of balls to step in the ring, not a lot of people can do that.”
That was the best a reserved Paul could say about his opponent before calling out the likes of Conor McGregor and Dillon Danis, revealing he broke his nose meditating weeks before the fight, then saying it was now time to focus on his music.
The best we can say about the fight is it was at least entertaining, just in all the wrong ways.