Undefeated boxer, Jake Paul, will look to defeat mixed martial arts (MMA) legend, Anderson Silva, this Saturday (Oct. 29, 2022) on FITE.tv / Showtime pay-per-view (PPV) from Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
Each step of Paul’s boxing career has been carefully managed. As a considerable and independent draw, Paul has the power to dictate who he fights, as well as what weight class. He’s used that leverage wisely, slowly working his way up the ladder of potential foes and expanding his own influence in the process. For the first time, it really feels like Paul may have overextended himself. Silva may be 47 years of age, but he’s not a Welterweight, nor is he a wrestler or even a boxing rookie. No, Silva is fairly recently removed from genuinely upsetting Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (watch highlights) — a much bigger in-the-ring accomplishment than anything Paul has managed.
Let’s take a closer look at his boxing skill:
Jake Paul is not dumb. He may not be an actual blue chip boxing prospect, but he’s put in the work with real trainers and sparring partner to become competent at the fundamentals.
Historically, Paul ensures he’s the bigger man with the larger reach. He capitalizes on that range advantage with an active and pretty quick jab. In general, he does a nice job of pumping his lead shoulder to hide that strike. He doubles and triples the jab up well, often targeting the body. Like many young boxers, Paul does occasionally stick around too long after the jab, which is how Tyron Woodley was able to line up his cross counter.
On the whole, Paul does well to work the body. He touches the torso often with the jab, and he commonly goes low with his cross too. Very often, Paul flicks a jab high to distract his opponent then takes the 2 downstairs. Sometimes the left hook follows, but Paul is also pretty willing to hook directly off the jab.
Most of Paul’s game revolves around setting up his right hand, typically as a straight or overhand. At distance, Paul will commonly follow up his jab, double jab, of jab high-jab low with a cross down the middle. He throws the shot well and always has, crisp with natural power and snap.
Much of Paul’s body work serves to set up his overhand. It’s his best punch, and he’s very willing to commit his weight fully to the shot. He doesn’t go to it too often though; Paul mixes it up enough to surprise his foe over the top. He’ll also occasionally pair his overhand with an uppercut, a nice way to circumnavigate the guard.
It’s a credit to Paul’s athleticism and natural power that he’s always been able to throw with power from his back foot. That’s typically tough to learn, but Paul was able to flatten Nate Robinson in his second pro fight with a pair of well-timed counter right hands as Robinson rushed forward. I’m not implying Robinson knew how to box at all, but it still takes skill and coordination to time a wild rush forward like that.
He managed to crack Ben Askren in similar fashion, and he also landed some heavy counter shots on Woodley, prompting further hesitancy.
That’s really the bulk of Paul’s game. He stays reasonably light on his feet (until tired at least), has an active and effective jab, and can drop a bomb of a right hand if given the opportunity. He does decent work to the mid-section and rarely gets too out of position.
Fundamentals and athleticism have found him consistent success so far.
Paul is a relatively straight forward young boxer. He’s facing a height and reach disadvantage for the first time in his career, and he has yet to show anything in his game that is likely to surprise Silva. Really, it seems like a gamble on Silva’s older age, but we’ll find out if Paul has anything new to show this weekend.
Andrew Richardson, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt, is a professional fighter who trains at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, California. In addition to learning alongside world-class talent, Andrew has scouted opponents and developed winning strategies for several of the sport’s most elite fighters.