Jake Paul will look to take his pro boxing record to 3-0 when he faces 0-0 Ben Askren (19-2 1NC in MMA) on April 17. Paul, who beat former NBA player Nate Robinson in his last fight, comes to combat sports from the world of YouTube, where he has amassed a huge—and highly profitable—following.
Though he is viewed as a joke in most fighting circles, there is someone with legitimate credentials who thinks Paul is a worthy addition to the sport of boxing.
Unbeaten heavyweight prospect Hasim Rahman Jr., son of former world heavyweight champ Hasim Rahman, has sparred with Paul and is now singing his praises.
“I sparred Jake twice and the first time was like almost night and day the second time,” said Rahman (ht Boxing Scene). “The first time he was just learning, the second time was obviously months later and he definitely has dedicated himself to the craft of boxing and you can see the results in his sparring.”
Rahman, who is 10-0 (5 KOs) in his four years as a pro, said Paul is now “throwing his punches better and sitting down on his punches.” Rahman also said that Paul’s trainer, BJ Flores, is doing a “great job” in transforming the YouTuber into a serious fighter.
“Don’t sleep on Jake Paul he really trains, he really takes it serious and I think he’s going to keep knocking these guys out, if they keep letting him pick his opponents, he’s going to keep knocking them out. Ben Askren, he’s probably going to get knocked out.”
Rahman went further to say that Paul might be able to hold his own against actual pro boxers.
“I think that if he continues what he’s doing, if he continues to do that, you can’t put anything past any man. Maybe he could compete with the boxers, maybe he’ll shock somebody, you never know.
“If he keeps doing what he does, there’s no reason to count him out in any fight. I come from the Rahman family, so we already know when people get slept on that’s when they wake up the world.
“So, don’t sleep on that he can fight, you better stop sleeping on him he can fight.”
Rahman’s father pulled off one of the greatest boxing upsets in living memory when he beat Lennox Lewis in 2001 to win the WBC, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles. As a 20-1 underdog Rahman blasted through Lewis to score a 5th round KO.
Lewis reclaimed his titles in an immediate rematch. Rahman fought on for another 13 years after that, facing the likes of Evander Holyfield, James Toney, Wladimir Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin. He ended his career with a record of 50-9 (41 KOs).