Many feel YouTuber Jake Paul has disrespected the sport of boxing by fighting for money instead of honor.
Paul, however, claims former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort tarnished the sport — as well as his reputation — with his first-round TKO victory against heavyweight legend Evander Holyfield in their insufferable exhibition bout on Sept. 11.
Paul claims Vitor had no place in the boxing ring with a legend of Holyfield’s caliber.
“Look, he beat up an old man. He disrespected the sport of boxing in my opinion. Holyfield is a legend, but he shouldn’t be fighting somebody that’s in there early 40s. It should be Mike Tyson vs. Holyfield or something like that. It was just sad to see, the whole entire thing.”
“I mean, it’s a bit ridiculous. I mean, there’s better people out there. I mean, like you were saying, Vitor is not that big of a name,” 24-year-old Paul told Ariel Helwani during a recent appearance on The MMA Hour (h/t BJPenn.com).
“He just isn’t. He’s not even as big of a name as Tyron [Woodley]. So I’m trying to get bigger with each one of these fights. I’m trying to have more of a challenge. And I think Vitor is a lot easier of a fight than Tyron. He’s older, he’s on steroids, and such. But that doesn’t really excite me that much. The money excites me. If they would put the money into a bank account, an escrow account and show proof, then maybe that’s where the conversation could start. But it’s not as big of a fight as the 10 other people that are calling me out or that even we’re already talking to.”
Paul himself is 4-0 since making his boxing debut in 2020. He holds wins over two former MMA champions in Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley as well as stoppage victories against YouTuber AnEsonGib and ex-NBA player Nate Robinson.
Belfort challenged Paul to a $25 million (later upped to $30 million) ‘winner-takes-all’ matchup under the Triller banner, but the latter doubts the offer is legitimate. Paul says Triller must put the money in an escrow account before he even considers accepting the fight.
“I think Vitor is a lot easier of a fight than Tyron. He’s older, he’s on steroids and such. It doesn’t excite me as much. The money excited me. If they were to put the money in a bank account – an escrow account – and show proof, then maybe that’s where the conversation starts.”