YouTuber-turned-boxer Paul is an incredibly divisive figure in the combat sports world, but one ex-world champion believes he’s got the most potential for stardom of any current fighter
Jake Paul has been tipped to become the “next face of boxing” by ex-world champion Paulie Malignaggi.
Former two-weight champion Malignaggi has been posing the question about who will take over the mantle as the No.1 star in the sport once Canelo Alvarez hangs up his gloves.
And the ex-fighter has said that while it may be an unpopular belief, he thinks Paul has the most potential for mainstream stardom of any young fighter coming up the ranks at the moment.
The social media star made his name on Vine and YouTube before becoming a Disney Channel star, all before he was even 21-years-old.
It was then that he was called out for a white collar boxing match and fell in love with the sport, turning professional and amassing, to date, a 5-0 record with four knockouts.
And with a fanbase numbering in the tens of millions, Paul has entered combat sports with a monstrous head start on other young fighters at just 24-years-old.
“I think for the first time in boxing history, we’re looking at a situation where the biggest star in boxing may not necessarily be the best boxer, or anywhere near,” Malignaggi said in a YouTube video.
“I’m thinking, there’s good fighters, it’s not about who the best fighter is, sometimes that goes hand-in-hand but it’s not always the case.
“Right now, if you asked me to pick a guy who’s young and has the potential to be a megastar in boxing and can carry the eyeballs, bro, it’s Jake Paul.
“It’s crazy, but prove me different, tell me there’s a young guy on that kind of level of popularity who’s also good, because I kind of wish there was.”
Paul has generated tens of millions in revenue since beginning to headline pay-per-view events last year, and has become one of the most talked about fighters in the world.
Last year, he broke the top 10 most google searched athletes, beating out the likes of Canelo or even MMA star Conor McGregor for a spot on the list.
And he has begun to turn his public perception around in recent weeks, taking a stand for improved fighter pay in both boxing and the UFC.
Do you agree with Paulie Malignaggi’s take on Jake Paul and the boxing landscape? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
While he isn’t a top prospect as a competitor, Paul’s fame is essentially unrivalled at his level in the sport.
“I want to hope that there was a guy who’s going to carry the sport that could be vying for the top spot pound-for-pound,” Malignaggi continued.
“That’s usually how we try to fit it, when you talk about the biggest fighter in the sport he’s at least in the pound-for-pound list so to speak.
“Jake Paul will never be in the pound-for-pound list, he’ll never be close to that, but Jake Paul, right now as far as young guys on the rise with potential to be stars, might be the biggest young star on the rise.
“He may be the guy that becomes synonymous with the sport of boxing, even if you don’t like what I’m saying – I’m not sure if I like it!”