Renowned boxing trainer Teddy Atlas has given credit to YouTuber-turned-pugilist Jake Paul for the way he’s approached his venture into the squared circle.
Five fights into his unlikely journey in combat sports and Paul is showing no sign of slowing down. Unbeaten to date, the Ohio native has certainly proved a large portion of fans and pundits wrong, something he’ll hope to continue doing in 2022. Paul will be entering the year off the back of a brutal knockout victory over former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.
After finishing fellow YouTuber AnEsonGib, former NBA star Nate Robinson, former ONE and Bellator 170-pound titleholder Ben Askren, and Woodley, Paul was set for his first challenge from a pro boxer in the form of Tommy Fury.
After “TNT” withdrew due to a broken rib and chest infection, Woodley stepped in on short notice for his chance at redemption. But for the second time in 2021, he left the ring defeated, this time after being viciously slept by the internet star.
Atlas Appreciates Paul Learning The Sweet Science
Despite extending his unbeaten record and knocking out a recognized fighter who held UFC gold just three years ago, many still doubt Jake Paul’s boxing credentials, and suggest they’ll continue to do so until he faces a professional boxer.
While boxing royalty Teddy Atlas is under no illusions about the quality of opponents “The Problem Child” has faced, he does appreciate the way Paul has approached his career in the sport. Speaking in an interview with The Schmo, Atlas praised Paul for respecting the sport of boxing by hiring professional coaches and putting in the work necessary to be competitive inside the ropes.
“He’s smart. A lot of people hate him, but one thing I give him credit for, he didn’t disrespect the sport of boxing. He went and he learned it. Can he go and just beat anyone? Of course not. But he learned the sport. He went out there and got a professional trainer, he went to a gym for the last couple years, and he worked his backside off to become the best he can become at this point, at this stage. He respected the sport.
Jake Paul, BY LEON BENNETT/GETTY IMAGES
“He’s doing the American way. He found a way to make money without hurting anyone, I mean legally… That’s the American way, to go out there and find a way to make money. I give him credit for that. And he took advantage of an audience, a large audience, and he’s taken them with him. He’s become their ambassador.”
Discussing the next step for Paul, who has made his desire to face UFC stars Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz known, Atlas suggested a clash with “Gamebred” would provide the striking test the 24-year-old needs to take the next step up the boxing ladder.
“It’s probably not gonna happen, but if he fought Masvidal, Masvidal’s a pretty good striker, that’d be interesting. That would get my attention… Look, the guy that he beat, Woodley, was a real fighter, but he was just about retired, he was 41/42 years old, not a tremendous striker, better on the mat, not a real busy guy, so he picked his spot pretty good. And again, I give him credit. He got the job done. But (it would be) a little more interesting if he fought a Masvidal because Masvidal’s a better striker and he’s more versatile… guys like that.
“I don’t wanna see him in anymore with guys where you know it’s done, like a movie; you go into a movie and you already know the ending. I wanna see him where there’s still some questions out there when he gets into that ring.”
While Paul has pushed for a bout with Masvidal, who is still under contract with the UFC, it appears the two-time welterweight title challenger isn’t pleased with the current state of negotiations. He recently slammed the $5 million the YouTube sensation offered, describing it as “chump change.”
Although it doesn’t seem likely to happen anytime soon, talk of Paul vs. Masvidal will likely exist for as long as the polarizing celebrity keeps having his hand raised.
Who would you like to see Jake Paul face next?
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