IBF, WBA, WBO, IBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has no problem with the addition of Jake Paul to the sport of boxing.
Since making his pro debut last year, Youtube star Jake Paul has generated a mountain of headlines in the sport – with much of the hype due to his massive following on social media.
Paul, 24-years-old, has racked up an unbeaten record of 4-0 with 3 wins by knockout.
His last three fights have been featured on pay-per-view, with high buyrates due to his popularity.
On the other hand, Paul has yet to face an actual boxer in the ring – although that scenario could be coming sooner than later.
Last year, he secured knockout wins over Youtube rival AnEsonGib and NBA star Nate Robinson.
Back in April, he blew away MMA veteran Ben Askren in one round. And last month, he won an eight round split decision over former UFC champion Tyron Woodley.
In the fight with Woodley, Paul had to overcome adversity when he was rocked in the fourth round and seemed to fatigue as the fight played out. He was able to recover and boxed his way to a win.
While some boxing purists believe Paul is hurting the sport, other observers believe he’s attracting hordes of young fans to boxing.
Because of his enormous online notoriety, Paul has to deal with a lot of mental pressure in every fight – which makes Joshua respect his efforts.
“[He’s] great for boxing. He’s trying, zero amateur experience, throwing himself in the deep end,” Joshua said to IFL TV.
“He’ll probably learn a lot more than a lot of fighters, throwing himself in the deep end, putting himself under pressure. Good luck to him.”
Paul’s next fight may come against unbeaten light heavyweight prospect Tommy Fury (7-0, 4 KOs), the younger brother of WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.
Like Paul, the 22-year-old Fury has a large following on social media and is often criticized for his level of opposition.
Fury was featured on the pay-per-view undercard of Paul’s recent fight with Woodley. He won a four round decision over combat sports veteran Anthony Taylor, who happens to be Paul’s sparring partner.
After the event was over, Paul and Fury were separated during a verbal confrontation backstage.