It seems Lennox Lewis is none too impressed with Jake Paul’s ventures into the ring.
The three-time heavyweight champion of the world has blasted Paul’s boxing career, describing the YouTuber’s fights as ‘a farce’.
Taking to Twitter, Lewis said Paul was ‘pretending’ to be a professional boxer, and warned that the current trend of YouTubers squaring up against each other was a ‘recipe for disaster’.
Responding to a question about whether Paul could actually be classified as a professional boxer, Lewis said, ‘Now we are getting to the root of the problem. License as a professional but with a record of never fought a professional boxer. This is the farce not my beloved boxing.’
He added, ‘Anyone can get a license doesn’t mean they are boxer with skills. Recipe for disaster when someone gets hurt [sic].’
Lewis’s comments appear to have been sparked by reporters that Triller – an online streaming platform – was planning to sue illegal streamers of Paul’s recent fight with Ben Askren for £72million.
Responding to the news, Lewis argued that the nature of the fights meant it was inevitable that people would seek out illegal streams, saying, ‘What did they expect? The majority of the marketing was on social media targeting teenagers. Do teenagers really have $50 for PPV?’
Lewis’s comments echo similar thoughts raised by champion boxer Canelo Alvarez, who earlier this week warned that YouTubers like Jake Paul and his brother Logan ‘could get killed’ if they continued to fight.
Alvarez said that the Paul brothers were disrespecting ‘true fighters’, and similarly to Lewis questioned why boxing authorities were permitting the YouTubers-turned-boxers to go into the ring at a professional level.
‘Why do they give licences to people who have never in their life even thrown a punch?’ he said. ‘If there’s a death, the commission will be responsible. Why? Because they issued the licence for the fight.’
Jake Paul has won all three of his professional fights so far, the latest against Askren in April. Paul later claimed that the bout received 1.3 million views on PayPerView, raking in more than $65 million.
His brother Logan, also a licensed professional boxer, recently announced an agreement to fight Floyd Mayweather – the undefeated superstar widely regarded as one of the greatest boxers of the 21st century – at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on June 6.