Mike Tyson shared a card with Jake Paul on Saturday night, but the heavyweight boxing legend admits that until recently he had never heard of the 23-year-old celebrity on YouTube.
In fact, it wasn’t until Paul and his older brother Logan began participating in celebrity boxing matches that Tyson’s sons first mentioned his siblings.
“I didn’t know he existed until my sons wanted to fight him one day,” Tyson said after going on a draw with Roy Jones Jr. on Saturday night. “I said, ‘Who are you going to fight?’ This person? Come on –
“Everyone knows who he is and I’m so happy that he joined me and Roy.”
The night Tyson returned to the ring for the first time in 15 years, Paul competed in the race and knocked down former NBA player Nate Robinson with a second-round knockout. Paul is now 2-0 as a professional boxer with plans to devote even more time to the sport ahead.
While Paul and his brother have received a lot of criticism from boxing purists for their participation in the sport, Tyson claims that they actually deserve a lot of merit and much more respect than they have been shown so far.
“Listen, my ego tells me so many things, but my reality is that they help boxing so much,” Tyson explained. “Boxing owes these guys, they owe these boxers on YouTube some respect. They have to give them belts because these guys make boxing alive.
“Boxing was an almost dying sport. The UFC was kicking us in the ass and now we’ve got these boxers on YouTube with 25 million views. Boxing goes back. Thanks to the boxers on YouTube. “
To put this into perspective, Logan Paul-KSI YouTube pay-per-view, where Jake Paul competed on the undercard, attracted more than 2.25 million viewers while generating $ 3.5 million live for the event.
Of course, boxing thrives on massive events such as the heavyweight title fight between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, as well as recent cards broadcast on networks such as ESPN with high-ranking matches like Vasil Lomachenko, who is fighting Teofimo Lopez.
While boxing seems to come alive around high-profile fights like these, the UFC is a more consistent product with remarkable week-to-week events and massive events popularizing when superstars like Conor McGregor, Israel Adesanya or Khabib Nurmagomedov compete.
In an age where television networks struggle to maintain ratings as they face streaming services and videos shown on YouTube and TikTok, gaining billions of views, Tyson believes that boxers like Paul are exactly what the sport needs right now. .
“I believe that the more someone boxes, the bigger he is for the sport,” Tyson said. “Because boxing has taken a few shots since the UFC came into being.”