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Ranked 1-10: The “Most Hated” and “Most Loved” Boxers on the Internet

Tyson Fury vs Dillian Whyte
Fury on his throne (Julian Finney/Getty Images)
New research somehow reveals the Internet's most "loved" and "hated" boxers, writes Elliot Worsell

ORDINARILY you would receive an email titled “Jake Paul is ranked as the most hated boxer on the Internet” and treat it with the disdain it deserves, ignoring if not deleting it altogether.

You would do so for two reasons: one, because the subject line includes the name Jake Paul alongside the word “boxer”, a sin unforgivable to all who still care, and two, because it seems, on the face of it, impossible to calculate the extent to which someone is hated, be it Jake Paul or anyone else.

Also, Boxing News is a boxing brand, with an interest only in boxers and their accomplishments inside the ring. It is not a talent show or gossip mag, nor a slave to the algorithm. It instead tries to promise and promote values like honesty and integrity and does so beneath a strapline of “Every fight, every punch, every week” and a birth certificate listing its D.O.B as 1909. We are, it’s true, too old for this. Too old for Jake Paul. Too old for playground antics, prom awards and popularity contests. Too old for “Most Loved…” and “Most Hated…”

Then again, for an increasing number of boxers today that’s precisely what boxing has become: a popularity contest. It is a platform on which to perform, shout, seek attention, and increase both their social media following and their bank balance. It is, for them, less about the sweet science and more about the fame game.

Which is why, whether we like it or not, the door is left open to “Most Hated…” and “Most Loved…” lists, with no small amount of value placed on this popularity, either. Even sadder than that, rankings such as these are probably more important to some boxers than any rankings predicated on their boxing achievements, and the same can perhaps be said for their promoter, too.

Both will be pleased to know, then, that by “utilising the social listening tool Linkfluence”, the website Gambling.com have “acquired the online sentiment from Reddit and Twitter surrounding every current boxer over the past year and ranked them based on their positive and negative sentiment to discover the internet’s most loved and hated boxers.”

And here they are, as if either needed or requested. First, the Internet’s top 10 most LOVED boxers…

(1) Tyson Fury – 28.20% positive sentiment / 10.80% negative sentiment

(2) Shakur Stevenson – 27.70% positive sentiment / 7.66% negative sentiment

(3) Canelo Alvarez – 27.10 positive sentiment / 22.20% negative sentiment

(4) Jermell Charlo – 26.40% positive sentiment / 6.41% negative sentiment

(5) Anthony Joshua – 26.10% positive sentiment / 24.20% negative sentiment

(6) Emanuel Navarrete – 25.90% positive sentiment / 5.39% negative sentiment

(7) Rey Vargas – 23.30% positive sentiment / 4.47% negative sentiment

(8) Deontay Wilder – 22.70% positive sentiment / 25.30% negative sentiment

(9) Roman Gonzalez – 22.50% positive sentiment / 9.88% negative sentiment

(10) Stephen Fulton Jnr – 20.8% positive sentiment / 1.50% negative sentiment

Shakur Stevenson
Shakur Stevenson has seen his popularity increase in the last 12 months

Now what you really came for: the Internet’s top 10 most HATED boxers.

(1) Leo Santa Cruz – 13.30% positive sentiment / 31.50% negative sentiment

(2) Josh Taylor – 12.50% positive sentiment / 31.40% negative sentiment

(3) Deontay Wilder – 22.70% positive sentiment / 25.30% negative sentiment

(4) Vasyl Lomachenko 15.30% positive sentiment / 25.10% negative sentiment

(5) Anthony Joshua – 26.10% positive sentiment / 24.20% negative sentiment

(6) Canelo Alvarez – 27.10% positive sentiment / 22.20% negative sentiment

(7) Jermall Charlo – 4.51% positive sentiment / 19.30% negative sentiment

(8) Juan Estrada – 12.20% positive sentiment / 17.80% negative sentiment

(9) Teofimo Lopez – 14.20% positive sentiment / 16.40% negative sentiment

(10) Kazuto Ioka – 19.80% positive sentiment / 13.20% negative sentiment

The affable and down to earth Leo Santa Cruz is, according to Gambling.com, somehow the sport’s “Most Hated” fighter (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

I’ll admit, the email should have perhaps been deleted the moment I saw the name Leo Santa Cruz top a list of “Most Hated…” but, alas, intrigue and the curse of content creation got the better of me. I was relieved, too, to eventually discover the “Most Hated Boxer on the Internet” is in fact not Leo Santa Cruz, as reported, but instead one Jake Paul, who actually tops Santa Cruz with 32.30% of posts online about him deemed to be negative. He was not included in this set of rankings due to being considered more YouTube influencer than professional boxer, yet, ironically, if anyone is responsible for the sudden desperation of fighters to cash in on their popularity it’s Paul, someone whose boxing skills are at a novice level, but his ability to sell himself up there with the very best.

Anyway, there you have it. Content. I hope you’re proud of yourself. (I’m talking to myself.)

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