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Jake Paul has walked back his claim about having chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
During Thursday’s media day, Paul, who is set to face Ben Askren in a boxing match in Saturday’s Triller Fight Club pay-per-view headliner, made a curious comment about his dedication toward the fight. The YouTube star-turned-boxer said he has “early signs” of CTE and tried using the claim to make a broader point about his commitment to the fight game.
“It’s a dangerous sport,” Paul said. “That’s why when people question my dedication to it, I’m showing up every single day, I’m putting my mental health on the line, my brain is on the line. I’ve gone and gotten brain scans and have early signs of CTE, but I love this sport and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. … I’m a fighter and people will see that. Whether it’s after Saturday night or a year from now. They will see that I’m a fighter.”
The comment made waves on social media among fans and fighters. On Friday, Paul issued a retraction and said he “misspoke” about his medical situation.
“I wanna retract my comments made about CTE as it relates to me and my medical history,” Paul tweeted. “It’s a very serious condition that I should not have misspoken about.”
Combat Sports regulatory lawyer Erik Magraken contacted the Georgia Athletic Commission, which will sanction the 190-pound bout between Paul and Askren at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, but did not receive any clarity about potential concerns over Paul’s well being.
Skepticism about Paul’s comments spread quickly, mainly because modern science cannot effectively prove CTE in living subjects. Brain trauma can be detected through studies after death, as has been the case with several athletes across multiple sports.