Jake Paul might be best known for making viral videos on YouTube, but he’s hoping to build a new reputation as a professional boxer.
The 23-year-old Ohio native already followed in the footsteps of his brother Logan Paul when he competed in a pair of fights against fellow social media stars. He won both fights by TKO but now Paul is scheduled to compete against retired NBA player Nate Robinson as the co-main event to the exhibition bout between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. this weekend.
According to Paul, he’s fallen in love with the sport of boxing and he’s taking his new profession very seriously.
“I’m doing this because I love it,” Paul said during 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’m doing this because I love it. Everything about it. The show, the weigh-ins, the talking sh*t.
“I just saw Nate Robinson in the hallway like crossing him up with my air basketball in the hallway. That simple sh*t that no one sees, it makes me so happy. I just love it. This sport is amazing. A to Z, everything about it. That’s why I’m doing it. I feel like I found a home with this.”
Prior to his appearance on stage, Robinson called Paul’s trash talking attempts “terrible” but obviously the rivalry between them only continues to grow with their fight just 24 hours away.
For his part, Paul believes he’s already occupying a spot in Robinson’s head after their brief encounter on Friday.
“He just like froze for a second,” Paul said about his interaction with Robinson. “He seems lost. He seems lost in this moment. He seems sad. I haven’t heard a word from him.
“This is all new to him. He asked for this. That’s why I don’t feel bad at all. He asked for this. He’s the one that called me out. He’s the one that said I haven’t fought a real athlete. I think it’s been a rude wake up call for him. I think the nerves are setting in.”
Despite minimal experience prior to his viral boxing matches, Paul seems confident that 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 draw in some of MMA’s biggest names to face him.
“I have a list of people,” Paul said about future opposition. “I’m the one also pushing that narrative. I want to keep fighting. I want to stay active. I want to bring MMA fighters into the boxing ring. I mean Conor McGregor’s the only fighter from MMA really that’s stepped into the boxing ring. So I want to take these other people, who are talking sh*t already to me on Twitter, and bring them into the boxing ring. I want to beat professional fighters that way.
“I want to prove to people ‘damn, this kid isn’t just beating up Nate Robinson and other YouTubers and such.’ This is one fight that is creating the start of a long journey.”
Paul has mentioned a showdown with former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor previously after he crossed over 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 training partners in the meantime, which could then build towards an even bigger fight in the future.
“It just makes sense,” Paul said about fighting McGregor. “At the end of the day, this is a business and they’re saying that this fight is breaking all the pay-per-view pre-sale records. I’m the co-main event and Conor McGregor’s bringing those same pay-per-view numbers. There’s no other fighter with this big of a platform that’s calling out Conor McGregor right now. His biggest competitor Khabib [Nurmagomedov] retired.
“So a couple fights down the line when my skill level improves exponentially, which it already has since my last fight, I’m going to beat up Dillon Danis, which is from his camp. I want to KO everyone in Conor McGregor’s camp and then it’s time to fight McGregor. But it’s going to happen.”
If everything goes well against Robinson this weekend, Paul seems to believe Danis is a perfect opponent for what comes next after he’s engaged in a fiery war of words with the Bellator fighter in recent months.
“He has to get his ass beat,” Paul said. “No one likes that guy. People don’t like me but they hate Dillon Danis more. I think everyone wants to see me beat his ass. It makes perfect sense.
“My end goal is fighting Conor McGregor for sure but I might as well beat up his best friend first.”