YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul has implied there’s a double standard applied to him in regards to the opponents he’s faced early in his career.
Paul’s venture into professional boxing began with a first-round TKO against fellow YouTube star AnEsonGib last January. A return to the squared circle eight months later saw the 24-year-old face a former athlete for the first time. A brutal knockout against Nate Robinson began to draw interest in the controversial internet personality’s developing career in the ring.
Squaring up with a fighter for the first time, Paul was last in action against former Bellator and ONE Welterweight Champion Ben Askren earlier this year. Another fast finish further legitimized his boxing pedigree, and added a former UFC fighter to his undefeated record.
Despite clearly increasing the level of opponent he’s facing with each fight, many have still suggested that Paul can’t be taken seriously in the sport until he faces an actual boxer.
During an interview with MMA Fighting, “The Problem Child” responded to his critics by highlighting what he believes is a double standard. According to Paul, professional boxers always begin their career by building up their records against low-level opposition. Because he’s in the public eye, the 24-year-old believes he receives more flak for it than anyone else.
“Most pro boxers build up their records. Their promoters build up their records,” Paul said. “They throw them in there with tomato cans so they get experience and they get knockouts so it looks good on their record and by the way no one’s really watching those early fights. They’re not selling tons of pay-per-views. The critics aren’t judging them, They’re just letting them do their thing but with me it’s all eyes on since day one.” (h/t MMA Fighting)
But Paul added that being held to a higher standard by the combat sports community has helped him grow into a better fighter.
“I’m being treated like a world champion with the pressure and who people want me to fight. I embrace it. But I somewhat agree. I want to continue to fight harder and harder people each time and I want to make my fights bigger and bigger each time. It’s a little bit different of a journey. I’m definitely being held to a higher standard but I think that’s helped me become a better fighter because I feel as if I have to live up to that higher standard,” said Paul.
Paul is set to face his toughest test to date this weekend when he enters the ring with former UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley. Despite not being classed as an elite striker in MMA, “The Chosen One” certainly has immense power, and will pose a considerably bigger threat to “The Problem Child” than Woodley’s former teammate Askren did.
Who do you think will get their hand raised on August 29? Jake Paul or Tyron Woodley?