Jake Paul Is the 'Real Deal,' Could Beat 'Great' Boxing Champs, Says Oscar De La Hoya

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVApril 12, 2022

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 07: Jake Paul talks to the media ahead of the fight between Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano at The Leadenhall Building on February 07, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
Warren Little/Getty Images

Legendary boxer Oscar De La Hoya believes Jake Paul has what it takes to beat some of the best fighters the sport has to offer.

De La Hoya gave his take on Paul and his ability during an interview with TMZ Sports on Monday:

"Let me tell you one thing about Jake Paul. He's the real deal. I'm gonna tell you that, with only four or five fights, and the way he's taking it serious.

"Jake Paul is the real deal. And I dare anyone who has boxing experience who has MMA experience to call him out, 'cause I'll tell you one thing, this guy can beat a lot of good champions, and even great champions."

Paul has parlayed his YouTube fame into a successful boxing career, as the 25-year-old Cleveland native owns a professional record of 5-0 with wins over former UFC stars Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley.

Paul made his pro boxing debut in 2020 with a technical knockout victory over fellow YouTuber AnEsonGib. Since then, he has beaten former NBA guard Nate Robinson, Askren and Woodley, the latter of whom he defeated twice.

The first victory over Woodley was somewhat controversial since it was by split decision, but he is a perfect 5-0 nonetheless and continues to move up the ladder in terms of difficulty.

Perhaps the biggest knock against Paul thus far is the fact that he hasn't faced an actual boxer yet. While Askren and Woodley are fighters, neither were ever known to be top-flight strikers in MMA.

Paul had been scheduled to fight heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury's younger brother, Tommy Fury, but when Fury couldn't fight because of an injury, Paul did the rematch with Woodley instead.

Despite his overall lack of experience and a relatively low level of competition thus far, De La Hoya has high hopes and expectations for Paul.

De La Hoya expressed his belief that Paul wants to become a champion and said Paul is "on his way" to becoming a contender and eventually a world champ.

Paul announced last month that his next fight will take place in August, although he has yet to name his opponent.

Another win against anyone would raise Paul's profile even more, but doing it against an actual boxer would perhaps inch him closer to the goal of contending for a championship.

Paul likely still has a long way to go in that regard, but because of his fame and the buzz he creates when he fights, he may be able to get a title opportunity much sooner than a boxer typically would.