Tony Bellew, a former professional boxer, is urging boxing officials and appropriate authorities to put an end to the fight careers of YouTuber brothers Jake and Logan Paul before it is too late.
Bellew, 38, a former WBC cruiserweight champion, is the latest boxer to call for an end to the YouTubers’ exhibition fights. Jake was 3-0 at the time of writing after defeating former UFC fighter Ben Askren last month, while Logan (0-2) is expected to win £14 million in a “mega fight” on June 6th against Floyd Mayweather. Each battle – and the associated social media clout – has taken the boxing world by storm, with many encouraging the trend to come to an end before a YouTuber or influencer sustains a life-threatening injury.
In an interview with BBC Headliners, Bellew said, “To begin, what they are doing does not distract from boxing, and let us be clear – these men are not warriors. If I go to Goodison Park tomorrow and play football, does that make me a footballer? I wish it did, because I will certainly walk in and inform them that I am playing.
“The reality is that these men are not fighters or true boxers; they are just someone trying their hand at a sport and participating in a small way. Now, I have no objection to that, but they should refrain from affixing themselves to the sport and pretending to be professional boxers or fighters of some magnitude or substance, because what they are doing to the sport by claiming to be these fighters is incorrect.
“I am fine with you earning a few pounds and getting by, but the only thing I am going to say, and no one has ever mentioned it before, but you are about to hear it for the first time, is this.
“It is all well and good when they are making a few quid and everybody is making money, but keep in mind that somebody is going to get injured and then the focus will return to boxing. You must take it very seriously. Boxing is a serious, violent, and brutal sport – do not be fooled into thinking this is entertainment, with cameras and lights and fun and games.
“There is nothing amusing about being locked in a ring with another man who is intent on removing your head from your body. I have always been there and done that. I have fought with ten-inch open gashes above my eye, broken noses, and broken hands; it is not impressive, but trust me when I say that someone would get hurt in one of these battles.
“That is when it will begin to rain down and boxing will be dubbed a joke of a sport, a shame, and ‘this is wrong’ – so stop it immediately. The men are irresponsible and endanger their lives.
“You cannot play games with genuine warriors. This guy is about to have Floyd Mayweather’s backside handed to him. He is going to be teased and thoroughly schooled.
“The distinction is that Floyd is a nine- or ten-stone man. You come knocking on my door, and I am a seventeen-pound man who can fit seventeen pounds on the end of my fist.
“If my 17-pound fist strikes you in the chin, you simply do not wake up. Therefore, avoid playing with people like me because it is both risky and immoral.”
Rogan said of Jake and Logan Paul during an interview with Action Bronson on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast: “Logan and Jake Paul, the Paul brothers, are making significant financial moves. They are making a lot of money and are getting a lot of attention…especially after [Jake’s] one-punch knockout. I recognize a puncher when I see one. When he knocked out Nate [Robinson] and Ben Askren, that guy showed he can crack. That is true; you do not want to be struck by him. You can slam him whatever you want — he is doing it under duress, on pay-per-view — he speaks in a tone of shite and always knocks people out…it is kind of crazy what these kids are accomplishing.”