Even Jake Paul thinks the current state of YouTuber boxing is “a bit too much”.
Although he is known as the arch-YouTuber boxer, it’s a strand of entertainment Paul is now trying to distance himself from.
“I’m not in the YouTube boxing world,” he declared. “That whole like crazy, ‘tag-team’ style stuff, influencers vs influencers.
“That was my first fight three-and-a-half years ago and since then I’ve fought professional athletes or professional fighters. So I’m not in that world. My cards are filled with world champions, the best of the best, the highest level of competition,” he continued.
“And that’s what I think others should do. They should come into the sport, obviously it’s cool to fight the influencers, but it’s time to take things more seriously and I think that is what’s important. I respect the sport of boxing.
“These girls flashing, taking their tops off in the ring, all this stuff is a bit too much.”
Paul does have some advice for those following in his wake. “We want new eyeballs for the sport but we don’t want it to be like a gimmick. So just don’t be a gimmick. Don’t do cringe [stuff],” Paul said.
“Get your skill up. You want to promote yourself, you want to have big fights, you want to make a name for yourself, start in the gym. People don’t realise that’s why I got so big.
“I said a lot of things, and I talked a lot of [stuff] but if I wouldn’t have been able to back it up, no one would have cared. So when I was knocking people out flat cold, that’s what really made me the biggest one in the space.
“Focus more on your skill level than doing these crazy PR stunts.”
‘Paul is not a YouTube boxer. He’s at another level‘
In Tommy Fury, Paul has fought another boxer, though in general he has been boxing against a succession of former UFC fighters, most recently outpointing Nate Diaz.
Joshua Pagan is an unbeaten American boxer, a national champion as an amateur, who’s been in camp with Paul. He insists that in terms of Paul’s boxing he is to be taken seriously.
“I trained with Jake Paul in Puerto Rico. He works really hard. He’s a great athlete,” Pagan told Sky Sports. “He definitely can fight.
“Day in, day out, he’s just constantly putting in hard work.”
Tommy Fury was the first professional boxer that Paul has competed with and he also handed the social media star a first loss.
“He’s definitely improving,” Pagan said of Paul. “He’s learning a lot of new things, bringing in somebody from the Kronk gym. I feel like he would beat Tommy in a rematch, just based off all the new things he’s learning and the focus and the dedication that he’s been showing.”
Pagan maintains that Paul is a real fighter, contrasting him with KSI, who will box Tommy Fury next.
“Jake Paul, he is a boxer. KSI, he’s an entertainer,” Pagan said. “He’s definitely a YouTube boxer. Jake Paul is not a YouTube boxer. He’s at another level. He’s a legit boxer.
“I feel like Jake Paul would outclass KSI. I feel like he’s levels above him.”