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Mike Tyson: Boxing was ‘dying,’ but YouTubers like Jake Paul are keeping it alive

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Mike Tyson has high praise for YouTube boxers.

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Jake Paul went to 2-0 as a professional boxer on Saturday night, knocking out former NBA star Nate Robinson in the second round. The bout served as the co-headliner to the legends match between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. and it’s where the 54-year-old former heavyweight champion gave him high praise.

YouTube stars like Jake and his brother Logan Paul have generated massive numbers on their boxing events, and according to Tyson, the sport of boxing owes them a lot.

“Listen, my ego says so many things, but my reality is they help boxing so much,” Tyson said (via MMA Fighting), explaining that he only heard about the YouTube boxers from his sons. “Boxing owes these guys, they owe these YouTube boxers some kind of respect. They should give them some belts because these guys make boxing alive.

“Boxing was pretty much a dying sport. UFC was kicking our butts, and now we got these YouTube boxers boxing with 25 million views. Boxing’s going back. Thanks to the YouTube boxers,” he said. “I believe the more anyone boxes the bigger it is for the sport, ‘cause boxing took a couple of beatings since the UFC’s been around.”

These YouTube boxers may not have the same pedigree and technique as all the other headliners in boxing, but they certainly generate a lot of money and interest. They’ve also caught the attention of Floyd Mayweather, who seems interested in fighting Logan Paul.