Jake Paul's sparring partners reveal how good he is in boxing ring as YouTuber prepares to fight ex-UFC star Ben Askren
5th April 2021

JAKE PAUL has divided opinions since he burst onto the boxing scene in polarising fashion.

But behind the scenes, from the YouTuber's first white collar fight in 2018 heading into his third professional bout, he has put his efforts into becoming a fully fledged prizefighter.

A first-round win against online rival 'AnEsonGib' on his pro debut in January 2020, and viral knockout of ex-NBA player Nate Robinson last November leaves the American 2-0.

But he faces his biggest step up to date on April 17, facing retired ex-UFC welterweight Ben Askren.

Here SunSport speaks to those with an insight on Paul's abilities, having shared the ring with him.

Jake Bostwick, 18-10 MMA fighter

Bostwick, 31, was invited into Paul's Miami training base to give a feel of how an experienced MMA fighter moved in the ring.

And Brit – also a Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship star – was left shocked by Paul's dedication to the sweet science.

He said: "I genuinely rate his boxing, I rate his work ethic and I rate how comfortable he is in there with someone of my calibre or anyone else he's working with.

"I hit him with some clean shots, he didn't care, threw some shots back, slipping, moving, his jab is good."

Bostwick, having been behind the scenes in Paul's camp, warns fans will be in for a surprise come April 17 and the further the social media star's career progresses.

He said: "I believe for sure he's going to shock people.

"Honestly, I think Jake will knock him out within two or three rounds, I really do, 100 per cent.

"I feel like his boxing's going to be way better than Askren's, he's the bigger man, he uses range well. I really think he can knock him out cold for sure.

"With those 10oz gloves, and he boxes how I feel he can, especially by April, I think he can sleep him, cold."

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Robin Safar, 11-0 light-heavyweight

Safar was asked by his trainer – and friend of Paul's head coach BJ Flores – to help out with sparring last year.

The heavy-handed puncher sparred Paul before he beat Nate Robinson last November.

Safar, 28, said: "He's got good speed and good reactions. He's naturally born with speed, explosiveness and reactions, that's what you're born with.

"I feel like when I sparred him, he was developing his ring IQ, he was trying to think in the ring.

"He's a good kid and he's got ambition for what he's doing, he's determined and I believe anybody can do anything in life, no matter who you are or what your background is.

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"Jake is still green, but for being green he's good. I think he's really good."

Paul is yet to go past two round in his fights, due to his low level of opposition, but Safar revealed he is developing knowhow between the ropes.

He explained: "He's really good for a YouTuber, he's a smart kid because he wouldn't be in the position he is today if he wasn't.

"In boxing, you've got to have a brain and I know Jake's got it.

"If he can use his IQ the way he does outside of boxing, in the ring, and add the determination and ambition, he can be really good."

Ahmed Elbiali, 20-1 light-heavyweight

Elbiali was also on hand to help Paul in his preparation for Robinson and the pair sparred once.

He admits to holding back on the novice, but noticed some potential in the millionaire vlogger under the guidance of ex-cruiserweight contender Flores.

Elbiali, 30, said: "Jake's athletic and powerful, but you can't compare him to seasoned professionals, there is no comparison.

"He seems relaxed and composed which is really good. He has a great right hand, great right hand, very strong, to the body or head.

"He used his jab well and he listens to BJ well.

"BJ is a good fighter, a good coach, he knows the sport very well and he's passing on a lot of knowledge to Jake too.

"Jake truly, truly, truly, does listen to BJ and he truly does love the sport of boxing and he really believes what he's saying, he's not bulls***ing.

"And that's where I respect it, a man with passion is unstoppable."

Elbiali has also backed Paul to have the power to KO Askren, despite lacking in fighting experience compared to the ex-Olympian.

He said: "Do I see him beating Ben Askren? I do, by knockout.

"Just because of the way boxing works, when you put on 10oz gloves and you're a man from 200-pounds to 168-plus, and you can pop, and this kid can pop, he's going to knock out Ben Askren.

"I'd say Ben Askren's only advantage is he's a true prizefighter.

"He's been under the big lights, he's an Olympic wrestler, he's done a lot. It's a good fight."

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