Phil Rosenthal: Snoop Dogg impresses with his boxing commentary as YouTube star Jake Paul KOs ex-NBA player Nate Robinson: 'Good night, Irene'

Phil Rosenthal, Chicago Tribune
·2 min read

Two things were abundantly clear on Saturday night: Former Chicago Bulls guard Nate Robinson had no business in a boxing ring and, if you’re intent on watching someone get beat up, Snoop Dogg is the guy you want sitting next to you.

An investor in Triller, the social media app that staged the boxing card headlined by a Mike Tyson-Roy Jones Jr. fight — the boxing equivalent of Old Timers Day at the ballpark — Snoop ensured there was entertainment value.

That the hip hop star was a hoot to listen to should surprise no one.

With past appearances on Los Angeles Kings broadcasts as well as contributions to EA Sports’ NHL 20 — not to mention years of talk show appearances and a well-honed stage persona — Snoop has far more experience providing commentary than Robinson has at trying to box. And it showed.

If he launched a Twitch channel in which he did nothing but offer running commentary while watching bad movies and TV shows, it would be an instant hit.

Typical of his plainspoken charm was his absolutely accurate take on the Tyson-Jones bout, a pair of guys in their 50s mixing it up: “This … is like two of my uncles fighting at the barbecue!”

But the highlight of the night may have come as 6-foot-1 YouTube star Jake Paul made quick work of the 5-foot-9 Robinson, a three-time NBA Slam Dunk content champ making his pro boxing debut — and perhaps final.

Paul knocked down Robinson three times, finally knocking him out in the second round.

“Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me home, let me stand,” Snoop sang, invoking a hymn to make clear how he saw things were playing out with Robinson picking himself up one last time.

Then, Snoop alluded to another song, perfectly timed with the overhand right from Paul that laid out Robinson for good.

“Good night, Irene,” he said. “Oh, Lord!”

Impressed viewers — including LeBron James, Flea, Kevin Neghandi, Blake Snell, Jemele Hill, Frank Thomas, Adrian Peterson, Bradley Beal, Dwyane Wade, Zach Levine, Tyus Jones and Donavan Mitchell — lit up Twitter with praise and calls for more.

If Marquee Sports Network continues to insist on guest announcers joining Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies on its Cubs telecasts, the pay-TV venture from the team and Sinclair Broadcast Group would be better off bringing in Snoop Dogg than some of the people it previously used.

At least when he’s trying to be funny, it’s funny.


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