Jake Paul vs. Nate Robinson: How ‘Surreal’ Fight Came to Be

Jake Paul left, Nate Robinson right


Jake Paul and Nate Robinson can’t believe they’re fighting each other but the two celebrities are set to meet in a professional boxing match on the undercard of the Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. pay-per-view card on September 12, and each celebrity-turned-boxer revealed to Heavy just how “surreal” this whole thing feels even to the two men charged with participating in it.

“Yeah, it’s surreal,” Paul admitted. “Honestly, I don’t even know how to describe it with words. It’s just a dream come true. And my friends had to make me realize how crazy it is because I just couldn’t fathom it, really. And so they were able to bring me back down to earth and say, Bro, this is crazy.'”.

Robinson agreed, “It’s just surreal, man. It’s pretty cool to be able to throw something into the universe and actually watch it manifest.”

Paul vs. Robinson takes place on the undercard of the upcoming Tyson vs. Jones Jr. pay-per-view card on September 12 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

The action is set to begin at 9 p.m ET via pay-per-view through cable, satellite, and Triller.

Mike Tyson’s Team Let Jake Paul Pick Opponent

Paul revealed to Heavy just how his next fight, which will be the 23-year-old’s second professional prizefight and third boxing match overall, came to be.

“Tyson’s team was putting together the event and they were the ones that wanted me to be a part of the card. And they were like, ‘Yo, who do you want the opponent to be?’ And I was like, ‘Well, Nate, Robinson’s been talking s***. Let’s run that. I’m going to beat his ass.'”

Nate Robinson Demanded Fight Against Jake Paul

Indeed, Robinson had been talking a lot of noise about Paul.

The ex-NBA star, who described himself as an avid boxing fan and proved it by naming elite boxing champions most mainstream sports fans wouldn’t know by name, said he didn’t like what he saw when YouTubers such as Paul had suddenly invaded the sport he loves.

“I just know Jake Paul’s been calling out all these YouTubers that have no experience in boxing and fighting at all,” Robinson said. “Fight somebody that’s worth fighting.”

For Robinson, who was the first NBA player to win the NBA’s Slam Dunk Contest three times in a career, that meant ditching the likes of Paul’s first opponent, YouTuber Ali Eson Gib, for a premier athlete like himself.

So Robinson took to social media to call out Paul and even talked to TMZ Sports back in May about his “dead serious” desire to fight Paul in a boxing match.

Jake Paul on Nate Robinson: ‘He Was Talking S*** on Instagram’

Paul said he saw all the noise the 36-year-old retired basketball legend was making about wanting the fight, so that’s why Paul selected him as his next opponent.

“Yeah, so he was talking s*** on Instagram a bunch,” Paul said. “And then saying like, ‘I’m an athlete, I could beat anybody. Jake Paul, you suck.’ And he was showing his boxing skills while he was doing all that.”

Keep in mind that Robinson’s boxing skills to that point were all just from the fighter mimicking what he saw on television.

Because the only boxing training Robinson had undergone before speaking to Heavy last week began two weeks prior to the interview. That seems to imply Robinson believes his athleticism combined with getting training help from the likes of Floyd Mayweather will carry him over Paul’s exponentially longer time training in the sport (2.5 years).

Jake Paul: ‘I’m Not Afraid of Anyone’

Paul said Robinson’s interview with TMZ is what sealed the deal in his mind.

Surely, a celebrity like Paul with over 20 million subscribers on YouTube was used to random people calling him out to fight via social media, but Robinson seemed to go on a full-scale campaign for the fight.

“And then he went on the TMZ interview and just was talking s***,” Paul said. “And, for me, it’s like, I’m not afraid of anyone. I’ll fight anyone. I have a long list of people I want to get into the ring with. But if someone calls me out and it makes sense and there’s an opportunity for us to fight, then let’s do it.”

Nate Robinson: ‘It’s Pretty Cool That He Took the Fight’

Robinson gets his wish in less than two months.

“It’s pretty cool that he took the fight,” Robinson admitted. “He’s not a little scared-ass schoolgirl, and he’s ready to fight, you know what I’m saying? He’s ready to get in the ring and ready to get it popping. So I’m ready to go.”

Now the two unlikeliest opponents in boxing, Paul and Robinson, a YouTuber and a former NBA slam dunk champ, head into a surreal matchup scheduled for the most surprising sports event of this wild and crazy year.

Neither fighter is likely to be confused with Manny Pacquiao or Tyson Fury anytime soon, but like those two stalwart champions at the top of their games, both have the courage and tenacity to step inside the ropes. And that is either brave or dumb. Sometimes, the lines between those two things blur together quite nicely.

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READ NEXT: Mike Tyson’s Next Opponent: 5 Fast Facts About Roy Jones Jr.

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