YouTube star Jake Paul said he sent a direct message to Nate Robinson after he knocked out the former NBA guard in the second round of their boxing match Saturday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
"Nate Robinson's a legend," Paul told TMZ Sports in an interview released Tuesday. "Nobody should be coming and hating on him. 99.9 percent of people have never gotten in to the boxing ring. Let's not take that away from Nate."
Paul and Robinson fought on the undercard of the exhibition clash between former world champions Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr.
The difference in experience was quickly evident as Paul, who'd previously defeated fellow YouTubers Deji Olatunji and Ali "AnEsonGib" Al Fakhri, was the far more technically strong fighter.
Robinson tried to go on the offensive just over a minute into the second round but left himself exposed and Paul delivered a crushing knockout blow that left the three-time Dunk Contest champion unconscious.
The 36-year-old Seattle native thanked his former NBA brethren for their support after the loss.
"HUGE shout out to my brother KG [Kevin Garnett] for being there, and all of y'all that have reached out to me PERSONALLY...Mike Bibby, Carlos Arroyo, Bonzi Wells, Malik Rose, everyone in these pics, etc. It means the world, and we're gonna come back even better," Robinson wrote on Instagram.
Robinson does deserve credit for stepping into the boxing ring for his debut against Paul, who had the length advantage and about three years of boxing experience. It was a tall task from the outset.
Meanwhile, Paul told TMZ his representatives are trying to set up a boxing match with UFC sensation Conor McGregor.
"It's gonna be legendary. I'm gonna win, too! That's what I want people to understand," he said. "... I'm gonna dedicate my life to winning that fight because I'm not going in there just to say I did it—I'm going in there to f--k Conor McGregor up."
McGregor is scheduled to face Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 on Jan. 23, so a timetable for a potential boxing clash with Paul is unclear. He previously lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in his August 2017 boxing debut.