Sports

Jake Paul sets long-term goal of being boxing’s light heavyweight champion

Jake Paul is hoping his fight against Hasim Rahman Jr. in New York on Aug. 6 – his first fight against a professional boxer – will be the stepping stone to eventual title dominance for the social media influencer.

Paul, 25, told ESPN’s First Take on Tuesday that his “goal is to be world light heavyweight champion in three to four years and fight the biggest names in the sport.”

Currently, those 175-pound titles are held by Russia’s Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol, who are ranked 7th and 8th respectively in ESPN’s pound-for-pound rankings. While it might seem far-fetched that Paul (5-0, 4 KOs) could defeat a fighter of this caliber, he’s banking on huge improvement over the next few years.

“I’m going to keep progressing and getting tougher fights every time,” Paul told ESPN’s First Take. “The celebrity and basketball stuff is kind of a thing of the past. … [Boxing’s] my life. From the moment I wake up I do nothing but boxing; It’s a morning exercise.

“It’s yoga, it’s meditation, it’s film work. It’s an hour-long conversation with my coaches about game plans and strategy. … I eat raw liver, I eat bone marrow. I’m doing everything I can to maximize myself to become the best possible boxer and I know a lot of people are shooting at me. I know a lot of people want to see me lose.

One of them is, of course, Rahman. The 31-year-old, son of former heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman, accepted the fight last week. He replaces Tommy Fury, half-brother of heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, who has been denied entry to the United States from the UK for unknown reasons.

Rahman (12-1, 6 KOs) suffered a fifth-round TKO loss to unheralded contender James McKenzie Morrison in April. Rahman, a career heavyweight, was 224 pounds for this fight. He needs to lose weight to reach the 200-pound cruiserweight mark to meet Paul, who sees past a spectacular KO of former UFC champion Tyron Woodley in a rematch in December.

“If anything he beat me in the sparring session but that was two years ago and I think I’ve worked harder than him for the past two years so that’s where the confidence comes from,” Paul said. “Now I can beat him.”

https://www.espn.com/boxing/story/_/id/34232863/jake-paul-sets-long-term-goal-being-boxing-light-heavyweight-champion Jake Paul sets long-term goal of being boxing’s light heavyweight champion

Emma Bowman

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