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The Jake Paul boxing experiment is not dead (yet)

What’s more thrilling in the fight game than the first fall? It’s to watch if somebody can do it again.

Jake Paul v Tommy Fury Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images

Jake Paul lost. We all had a feeling it would eventually happen, but (according to Paul) at least 500,000 pay-per-view buyers tuned in to see his first loss in a competitive fight against Tommy Fury. Fury is not Nate Robinson or Ben Askren – he’s a young cruiserweight with a boxing pedigree. Somebody with experience and not a retired MMA fighter would give Paul trouble. While many rejoiced in the “Fall of Paul,” his overall allure in the fight game still has some muster.

It’s taken a hit with the loss, but sports loves a comeback story or somebody trying to redeem themselves — even if it is Jake Paul. The UFC has Jon Jones returning this Saturday, along with megafights in boxing with Ryan Garcia vs. Gervonta Davis in April and Katie Taylor/Amanda Serrano 2. It seems like men's boxing is at least trying to pit the best against each other after the sport suffered because of it (we’re still waiting for Terrence Crawford vs. Errol Spence Jr. We can dream!). However, these celebrity-style bouts have filled that void, and Paul still sits at the top of marketability.

It would have been one thing if he got outright beaten – however, it was a split decision, with Fury suffering a knockdown in the later rounds. A rematch is inevitable; people will tune in to see if Paul avenges his only loss. If he wins, you got a potential trilogy on your hands. Then another win after that could mean Paul goes on to fight a more formidable opponent. The issue with that is, there’s no return after that. You can’t pull a retired UFC fighter off the street and expect people to pay $50 for it. When you up the level of competition, there’s nowhere to go but up.

However, another loss might spell a slow end to this strange and somewhat entertaining chapter in boxing. Paul could try to reignite fight talks with former UFC fighter Nate Diaz and maybe throw a hail mary trying to coax Conor McGregor into the ring. The main piece of allure to these fights is to see who could be the person to take Jake Paul down. That’s happened in a fashion that can go either way. Another loss takes the shine off — at least in boxing. There’s always mixed martial arts.