Want to get a good laugh from a hardcore boxing fan? Suggest that Jake Paul could win a major world title one day.
Paul, who is scheduled to face rival Tommy Fury in a pay-per-view bout Sunday in Saudi Arabia, is undefeated and his demonstrated some natural ability. However, the 26-year-old YouTuber-turned-boxer has had seven total fights (six pro, one amateur) in his life. And none of his opponents were genuine boxers.
He’s like a beginning dancer learning a complicated new step; he might have the basic idea but an educated eye can see he’s still trying to figure it all out. And he might never look anything like Fred Astaire.
“That’s like saying a pig’s going to fly,” Fury told Sky Sports when asked whether Paul could one day win a major title.
That perception doesn’t seem to deter Paul, however. He’s convinced that anything is possible with hard work and enough time.
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And he’s not alone. His trainer, BJ Flores, supports in his dreams. And so do some who aren’t working with him, including Hall of Famer Shane Mosley.
“I want to become a world champion,” Paul told Sky Sports. “I’m going to become a world champion, and these fights are all just stepping stones to get there. I’m slowly improving.
“I’ve sparred against world champions and done phenomenal against them, so who knows what can happen in two to three years from now when I go into my athletic prime? I’m starting to really, really get this sport and all aspects of it.
“It’s really actually scary what could possibly happen. I think not only will I become a world champion, I think I will be a dominant world champion and knock someone out for the belt.”
Mosley, who worked with Paul (6-0, 4 KOs) early in his career, said in an interview with FightHype.com that Paul “is a real fighter.”
The former two-division world champion said Paul might want to target one-time middleweight titleholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. as one of those stepping stones.
Chavez recently lost a decision to former MMA star Anderson Silva, who Paul outpointed in his most-recent fight.
“It’s a possibility because he has the frame, he has the speed, he has the power,” Mosley said of Paul’s chances of earning a belt. “He might need to lose a little bit of weight, but he fights at cruiserweight, so maybe he goes down to light heavyweight.
“It’s going to be hard for him at any of the weights once you get to that level. Then he has to work with the right people. … It will probably take him two, three, four years to even be in that section, that area.
“He’s not there yet. But if he fights the right people, then maybe he can do it.”
Flores, a former cruiserweight contender, said he’ll be by Paul’s side no matter what happens.
“[Winning a word title is] still a way away and a lofty, lofty goal” Flores said. “… I’m behind him all the way and we’re going to ride this thing out as long as it goes.”
It could happen sooner rather than later. WBC officials inexplicably have said that Paul could land in there rankings if he wins on Sunday. Then he’d be a position to face a titleholder … ready or not.