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Jake Paul Gonna Jake Paul, Compares Himself To Mike Tyson And Muhammad Ali

Jake Paul responding to Tyron Woodley's tattoo on his YouTube channel
(Image credit: YouTube)

Jake Paul’s legitimacy as a professional boxer is a frequently debated topic both online and in the real world, but one thing even his biggest haters will struggle to dispute is his level of confidence. Paul isn’t afraid to talk up his accolades, especially when it comes to his boxing success so far, nor does he hesitate before elevating the significance of his victories from time to time. Paul did exactly that and then some recently by putting himself on the same level as boxing legends like Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali. 

It's hard to consider two boxing champions who'd come to mind quicker than Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson when boxing is discussed. So maybe that's why Jake Paul so easily invoked the names of both Ali and Tyson while describing his previous boxing win against former UFC champion Tyron Woodley. (While also seamlessly trolling fans who celebrated Woodley clocking him in Round 4.) During a recent press conference promoting his upcoming bout against Tommy Fury, (via Boxing247.com), Paul said:

It was my first real test that I passed. A UFC Champion who dominated the UFC with his big overhand right. He hit me with a shot in the fourth round that was nothing. I ate it very easily and kept moving. I found a way to win and passed my first test in my fourth professional fight. Nobody from Muhammad Ali to Mike Tyson to Floyd Mayweather was testing themselves as much as I was in my fourth fight. I learned a lot about myself and what I’m capable of and performing under pressure. I look forward to bringing that experience to my next fight.

Jake Paul’s statement is a bold one and certainly arguable. While it’s hard to decipher Paul’s exact meaning — and there are plenty of ways to read into it with pronounced cynicism — it seems he’s saying that in challenging a UFC champion, he took on a more noteworthy obstacle than what boxing greats like Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson experienced at that point in their early careers. And he almost certainly means "after four fights," since Mike Tyson was 39-1 at 24, the same age Paul is now, and was a champion throughout two of those prior years. 

Many of Paul’s critics will be quick to note that MMA and professional boxing are two entirely different combat sports, and Woodley being a capable UFC champion does not make him a quality professional boxer. But still, within some very specific parameters, Jake Paul's comments weren't the wildest things he's said this year. 

Ultimately, the argument always boils down to the validity of Jake Paul’s status as a professional boxer. Paul is licensed as such, but to say his wins to date are from quality opponents (despite their professional licensing) is a stretch at best. 

The same is true with his upcoming opponent Tommy Fury, who is most known because his half-brother, Tyson Fury, is the World Boxing Council heavyweight champion. Fury boasts a professional boxing record of 7-0 and faces the same challenge as Paul in proving the legitimacy of his fighting career to critics. This fight likely won’t convince many Paul is the next Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, or Floyd Mayweather, but it should be interesting to watch all the same. 

Jake Paul will face Tommy Fury as fight card headliners on Saturday, December 18th at Amalie Arena in an event that will be carried by Showtime pay-per-view. In the meantime, Paul will no doubt offer up more baffling assertions that may make it easy to forget this one ever happened. 

Mick Joest

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.