Internet star Jake Paul proved experience matters in his return to pro boxing on Saturday in the co-main event of the Mike Tyson-Roy Jones Jr. pay-per-view.
Paul (2-0, 2 KOs) scored a trio of knockdowns en route to a brutal second-round knockout of former NBA star Nate Robinson in their cruiserweight bout inside Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Although he held advantages of four inches in height and 13 years in age, it was Paul's significant edge in boxing training that proved to be the difference. Along with having made his pro debut in January when he finished fellow YouTube star AnEsonGib in two rounds, Paul has done nothing but train this calendar year.
The 36-year-old Robinson (0-1), on the other hand, started boxing for the first time in August after calling Paul out and the results showed.
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"I have been training my ass off for the past year. I am taking this seriously," Paul said. "There is a long list of opponents I want, like Conor McGregor and [fellow MMA fighter] Dillon Danis. I want to knock both of them out. I want to be in this sport for a long time. I'm in love with this so why not?"
The 23-year-old Paul did well early to hold off Robinson's advantage in athleticism by avoiding the three-time NBA Slam Dunk champion's leaping attacks as the fight largely devolved into a clinch fest featuring plenty of grappling.
Paul began to time Robinson's forward attack and caught him with a right hand to the side of the head that dropped him in Round 1. Robinson regained his feet but held the back of his head with his left hand trying to sway referee Thomas Taylor that the blow was a rabbit punch.
The second round saw Paul continue to land clean shots as a looping counter right hand dropped Robinson for the second time and left him pinned under the ropes. Although Robinson was able to regain his feet again, the end would come shortly after in violent fashion.
Paul landed a three-punch combination that finished with a short right hand to the chin that knocked Robinson out cold and dropped him face first. Taylor instantly waved off the fight at 1:35.
"It was an overhand right [that finished the fight] but he was better than I expected," Paul said. "He was athletic and super strong. I just want to say thank you to Nate. He was the one who originally called him out and I respect him. His basketball career was great and I don't want to take anything away from him. He stepped into the ring and it takes a lot of balls to do that."
The final punch stats saw Robinson outland Paul 10-8 in total although it was Paul who was more efficient scoring a trio of knockdowns off the eight shots he landed.
"For me, my whole life has been a fight so fighting is something I'm great at," Paul said. "Being from Ohio in a small town and just fighting for success. People hating on me, I'm one of the most hated people in the world. It's not easy."
Paul, the younger brother of fellow internet star and aspiring boxer Logan Paul, talked after the fight about continuing his music and acting hopes, along with his fighting career. He also revealed that he broke his nose weeks ago during training camp after passing out onto a concrete floor while meditating.
Robinson's 10-year NBA career ended with the New Orleans Pelicans in 2015. Originally drafted by the Phoenix Suns in 2005, Robinson last played professional basketball in Lebanon in 2018.
Some of Robinson's teammates and rivals took to social media in reaction to the stunning knockout on Saturday, with most in disbelief as to what had happened. Robinson was awake and alert once he was taken back to the locker room after the fight, according to reports.
Paul and Robinson may have provided the most last memory from the PPV card, which featured Tyson and Jones fighting to an unofficial split draw on the WBC-apppointed judges' scorecards. The pair of legends duked it out over eight, two-minute rounds in the main event and still looked competent while never seriously injuring the other person.
CBS Sports was with you throughout the entire way on Saturday, so be sure to follow along with the live results and highlights below.
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Robinson is awake but he is having trouble sitting up.
That was absolutely brutal. Domination from Jake Paul.
R2: Robinson regains his feet but he's in bad shape. Right uppercut from Logan and now a right hand and Robinson is out cold. That's it. KO2.
R2: Good feint and stiff jab from Paul. He comes right back and drops Robinson again with a right hand.
ROUND 2: Good flurry from Robinson with short hooks before the clinch. Both fighters crashing into each other time and again to force the tie up. Lots of shoulders landing.
Robinson still seems shaken up. He's going to need to collect himself and stop running in. Replays show the punch that dropped him was clean to the side of the head.
R1: Paul throws Robinson down after a brief clinch. Robinson runs back in to grab Paul around the waist and wait out the end of the round.
R1: Robinson stands up but he's holding the back of his head and claiming it was a rabbit punch that got him.
R1: Right hand catches Robinson leaping in and he is down and hurt.
R1: Referee warns both fighters for too much holding. "What are we going to do here? Are we going to box?"
R1: Paul misses another right cross as they clinch again. Leaping jab from Robinson lands.
R1: The clinching continues and a front headlock breaks out from Robinson. Lots of sloppy grappling in close.
R1: Paul badly misses a straight right and Robinson forces the clinch smartly. Lots of infighting going on in the clinch.
ROUND 1: Left hook from Robinson lands as he rushed forward. Paul was quick to backstep.
Referee Thomas Taylor is the third man in the ring.
Paul will have a four-inch height advantage at 6-foot-1.
Robinson enters the ring. He last played professional basketball in Lebanon in 2018.
The fight marks the pro boxing debut for the 36-year-old Robinson, a 14-year NBA veteran. This will be the second time Paul (1-0, 1 KO) takes the ring this calendar year after stopping AnEsonGib to open 2020.
Up next is the co-main event of the Tyson-Jones pay-per-view as YouTube star Jake Paul takes on NBA veteran and three-time Slam Dunk champion Nate Robinson in a six-round cruiserweight bout.