Internet sensation Jake Paul faced what could be the toughest test of his boxing stint in the form of ex-UFC champion Tyron Woodley on Sunday. “The Problem Child” ended the night with a split decision win to keep an undefeated record of 4-0.
While a good chunk of fight fans still refuse to give their full respect for Paul, you can say that a few are beginning to come around and take notice. Former UFC middleweight champion and future Hall-of-Famer Anderson Silva is one of them.
“The guy is working hard,” Silva said of Jake in a recent Submission Radio interview. “The guy made the job hard, and I think it’s important for people to fight with these both guys. Working hard, working hard. Take the training very serious, because the kids proved it’s not a joke. The kids didn’t go inside the ring for a joke, and everybody saw that.”
“The kid’s [Jake] working a lot. The people can’t imagine how much pressure these kids have. Especially right now, the kids proved everything’s possible in this entertainment game. And I think right now the kids need a rest, they need to relax. And when you’re back, take the good opportunity and fight. That’s my opinion.”
There remains the argument of such boxing spectacles being a possible deterrent to the sport. But as someone who’s been in the prizefighting business for the last 24 years, Silva gets it.
“Let me tell you something important. The Paul brothers made the new opportunity for people thinking about the entertaining is not about prove nothing for anybody. It’s just to put two big names inside the ring and doing the big show,” he said.
“And of course, you’ve got the talk show. Logan talk a lot, your brother talk a lot, but this is entertaining, this is good. Because in the final day, when you see the life for these two kids, these are good guys, they’re not bad people. They just try to bring for every single person, especially your fans on YouTube and Instagram, and everything, more entertainment.
“I respect both, and I think the fight was very interesting. A lot of people thought Tyron Woodley won, and a lot of people thought, ‘Oh no, Tyron Woodley lost.’ But a fight is a fight.
“You can control inside the ring, but outside you can control nothing. You can’t control the judge, you can’t control people’s talk. You can [only] control your body and your mind inside the ring.”
Silva himself is deeply embedded in the boxing game right now. After an impressive win over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in June, the 46-year-old “Spider” will now take on fellow UFC veteran Tito Ortiz on September 11. The matchup will be part of Triller’s event headlined by former UFC champion Vitor Belfort and boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya.