Just a year and a half ago, Jake Paul was known to the world as an internet sensation who’d been dabbling in boxing. These days, he’s “The Problem Child” who holds wins over former marquee MMA fighters, one of them being an ex-UFC champion.
The 24-year-old does deserve some credit for his hustle and gamesmanship. But some of combat sports’ most prominent figures are giving him much more respect.
American Kickboxing Academy head coach Javier Mendez recently did an interview with online betting site Betway, where he talked about Paul and another infamous prizefighting figure, Conor McGregor.
Mendez is fully on board with a potential boxing match between the two, and he’s actually liking Paul’s chances.
Jake has got so many advantages on Conor. Size being one of the big major ones, and the fact that he’s been boxing for three-plus years with really good boxing professionals that know what they’re doing. So no, he shouldn’t have to fear Conor whatsoever.
Instead, he has to fear people like Canelo. He would just smash him in one round, it would be embarrassing. He hasn’t got a chance against those kinds of guys, he really should stay away from him - but against Conor, absolutely he has a chance.
Looking at the two, Jake’s got big advantages in size and power. Yes, he doesn’t have fight experience but he’s been strictly just boxing for a long time now. Conor’s not been strictly boxing.
Mendez’s confidence apparently comes from insider information via training clips sent by Paul’s coaches and sparring partners.
I have first-hand knowledge of seeing Jake do his stuff. I have videos that his coaches were sending me and I have had words with the people that he was sparring with.
The guy’s legit. He’s not a top-level guy, don’t get me wrong. You can’t be top level with three pro fights, but he has skills and he has power and he has great coaching, he really does. And he’s a good athlete, so combine all those together and he’s gaining momentum.
Paul has yet to finalize his future plans as he continues to go back and forth with Woodley over their tattoo deal. McGregor, meanwhile, is on the shelf until 2022 as he fully recovers from the leg he injured at UFC 264 two months ago.