Jake Paul is perhaps best known for making viral YouTube videos, but he hopes to build a new reputation as a professional boxer.
The 23-year-old Ohio native has already followed in his brother Logan Paul’s footsteps when he appeared in two fights against other social media stars. He won both TKO fights, but now Paul has to face retired NBA player Nate Robinson as the main co-event in the exhibition fight between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. this weekend.
According to Paul, he fell in love with the sport of boxing and he takes his new profession very seriously.
“I do this because I like it,” Paul said on the Tyson vs Jones media day on Friday. “I don’t need to do it. I have my music, my YouTube stuff, my acting, my businesses, but I do this because I love it. All about it. The show, the weigh-ins, the talking shit.
“I just saw Nate Robinson in the hallway like crossing him with my basketball in the hallway. This simple shit that nobody sees, it makes me so happy. I love. This sport is amazing. A to Z, all about it. That’s why I’m doing it. I feel like I found a home with it.
Ahead of his appearance on stage, Robinson called Paul’s attempts at chatter “terrible”, but obviously the rivalry between them only grows with their fight at just 24 hours.
For his part, Paul believes he already has a place in Robinson’s head after their brief meeting on Friday.
“He just froze for a second,” Paul said of his interaction with Robinson. “He seems lost. He seems lost at the moment. He looks sad. I haven’t heard a word from him.
“This is all new to him. He asked for that. That’s why I don’t feel bad at all. He asked for that. He’s the one who called me. It was he who said that I had not fought a real athlete. I think it was a rude wake-up call for him. I think the nerves are setting in.
Despite minimal experience before his viral boxing matches, Paul seems confident the sport will be his future regardless of the outcome of his fight on Saturday night.
In fact, Paul wants even bigger opponents in the future with plans to attract some of the biggest names in MMA to face him.
“I have a list of people,” Paul said of future opposition. “I am also pushing this story. I want to keep fighting. I want to stay active. I want to bring MMA fighters into the boxing ring. I mean Conor McGregor is the only MMA fighter that really entered the boxing ring. So I want to take these other people, who already talk shit to me on Twitter, and get them into the boxing ring. I want to beat professional fighters this way.
“I want to fucking prove to people, this kid doesn’t just beat Nate Robinson and other YouTubers and the like.” It’s a fight that creates the start of a long journey.
Paul mentioned a showdown with former UFC two-division champion Conor McGregor after he switched to boxing for a lucrative fight against Floyd Mayweather in 2017.
While he may not be ready for McGregor just yet, Paul is more than happy to take out the Irish superstar’s closest friends and his training partners in the meantime, which could then lead to a fight. even bigger in the future.
“It makes sense,” Paul said of the McGregor fight. “At the end of the day it’s a business and they say this fight is breaking all pay-per-view presale records. I’m the main co-event and Conor McGregor brings those same pay-per-view numbers. There isn’t another fighter with this great rig calling Conor McGregor right now. Its biggest competitor Khabib [Nurmagomedov] retirement.
“So a few fights down the line when my skill level improves exponentially, which he’s already had from my last fight, I’m going to beat Dillon Danis, who’s on his side. I want to knock out everyone in Conor McGregor’s camp and then it’s time to fight McGregor. But it will happen.
If all goes well against Robinson this weekend, Paul seems to believe Danis is a perfect match for what is to come after engaging in a fiery war of words with fighter Bellator in recent months.
“He’s got to get his ass pounded,” Paul said. “Nobody likes this guy. People don’t like me, but they hate Dillon Danis more. I think everyone wants to see me beat their ass. It makes perfect sense.
“My end goal is to fight Conor McGregor for sure, but I might as well beat his best friend first.