Jake Paul fires warning to rivals after winning ‘Breakout Boxer of the Year’
Jake Paul has warned rivals his career is only "just starting" after being named the Breakout Boxer of the Year by Sports Illustrated magazine.
The YouTuber fought three times in 2021, stopping Ben Askren in February before outpointing another MMA fighter, ex-UFC star Tyron Woodley, in September.
Last month, he was due to finally settle a long-standing feud with Tommy Fury, which would have represented his first bout with a full-time boxer, only for the Englishman to withdraw citing a rib injury and bacterial chest infection.
That prompted Woodley to step in for a rematch at little over a week's notice, and again it was Paul who prevailed, lighting up a dour fight with a stunning right hand to score a knockout win.
Despite Fury publicly touting a re-arranged clash, the 24-year-old Paul has since announced his intention to take a prolonged break from the ring, having taken his professional record to 5-0.
'The Problem Child' has used the honour to hit out at his critics, releasing a statement on Twitter where he said of his win: "Today I'm overwhelmed with many emotions and a deep feeling of gratitude.
"Less than 2 years ago I made my professional debut after having 1 amateur fight that lasted 5 rounds and now today, I won Sports Illustrated Breakout Boxer of the year."
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And he then proceeded to fire shots at those who doubted him: "People laughed in my face and talked s**t in every gym I went to," he continued.
"They told me I couldn't become a real boxer because I was a 'YouTuber' and that nobody would take me seriously. I laughed right back.
"People have doubted me my whole life. It's nothing new. In this generation you have to show people what you can do. They won't believe it until it's right in front of their mindless eyes."
Paul also claimed his career had helped bring exposure to women's boxing, and youngsters through his Boxing Bullies Foundation, and added: "Don't listen to the critics and the people who try to stop you, nothing worth doing will be easy. What an incredible journey this has been but somehow it's just starting."
Paul, who recently became embroiled in a war of words with UFC supremo Dana White, also thanked his team and said he had "fallen in love" with boxing.
However his award from Sports Illustrated magazine was met with derision from fans scathing about the calibre of his opponents, with @YTItsRyan asking "How can you win that if you have not fought a REAL boxer?" – while @Lintheshort added "So not best boxer, just best "amateur trying to go pro" boxer. Got it."
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