By: Hans Themistode
With yet another win under his belt, Jake Paul is convinced more than ever that he deserves the boxing world’s respect.
The social media star turned professional boxer started the second year of his pugilistic journey with a first-round knockout win over former MMA star Ben Askren. From there, Paul would follow up that victory with back-to-back triumphs over former longtime UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, the latter resulted in Paul winning numerous awards for producing a highlight reel level knockout.
Yet, despite the superlative words used to describe his recent performance, former cruiserweight world champion Tony Bellew isn’t willing to give Paul any credit.
“At the end of the day, he got in there with an MMA guy that he beat already,” said Bellew on DAZN Boxing. “Tyron Woodley is just not a boxer.”
Although Woodley has scored countless devastating knockouts, the former UFC star was a relative novice in the boxing ring. Having built his name and likely Hall of Fame game through his wrestling abilities, Woodley was taken out of his element during his showdown against Paul.
Due to his lack of experience in the ring, Bellew refuses to acknowledge Paul as a boxer just yet. If the social media influencer ultimately wants to gain the approval of Bellew, he suggests Paul face someone with much more skill.
“I’ll tell you someone he can face, Anderson Silva,” continued Bellew. “Anderson Silva is an MMA guy so he’s not a traditional boxer but I’ll give it that he’s a boxer because Anderson Silva has beaten a boxer. And, he hasn’t just beaten any boxer, he’s beaten a former world champion in Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.”
As mentioned by Bellew, Silva spent well over a decade carving out a one-of-a-kind career in the MMA world. But, prior to Silva garnering the reputation as one of the greatest mixed martial artists ever, the Brazilian native was a full-fledged boxer.
In 1998, Silva lost in his pro debut against Osmar Luiz Teixeira. Seven years later, Silva would return to the ring to score a knockout victory against Julio Cesar De Jesus. Although Silva would spend over a decade and a half focusing strictly on MMA, once that chapter of his career came to a close, he returned to the boxing ring.
In June of 2021, Silva picked up a split decision win over the previously mentioned Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. In his return to the ring several months later, Silva easily stopped fellow MMA star, Tito Ortiz at the end of 2021.
Considering Silva’s overall boxing ability and his deep background in the sport, Bellew would be willing to concede to Paul’s boxing acumen should he defeat Silva. Until then, anyone believing that Paul is, in fact, a boxer, is simply erroneous in the eyes of Bellew.
“Face someone like him and then we can listen to you talk that you’re a boxer. Until you face a boxer, you can’t state you’re a boxer.”
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