38-year-old Bellew, a retired WBC cruiserweight champ, is the latest in a string of boxers calling for an end to the YouTubers' exhibition fights. At the time of writing, Jake went 3-0 after flooring ex-UFC fighter Ben Askren last month and Logan (0-2) is set to earn £14m in a "mega fight" with Floyd Mayweather on June 6th. Each fight – and the surrounding social media clout — has taken the boxing world by storm, with many urging the trend to stop before a YouTuber or influencer is critically injured.
Speaking to BBC Headliners, Bellew said, "First and foremost, what they are doing, they are not detracting from boxing at all and let’s get one thing straight – these guys aren’t fighters. If I go play football at Goodison Park tomorrow does that make me a footballer? I wish it would because I’d definitely just walk in and tell them I’m playing.
"The fact of the matter is these guys aren’t fighters and aren’t true boxers, they are someone who is having a go at a sport and competing a little bit. Now I’ve got no problem with that but they shouldn’t actually attach themselves and call themselves professional boxers or fighters in any kind of magnitude or substance because it’s wrong what they are doing to the sport by claiming they are these fighters.
"I’m all OK with you making a few quid and doing alright but the only thing I’m going to say, and no-one has ever touched upon it before but you are going to hear it now for the first time.
"This is all good when they are making a few quid and everyone is making some money but understand that someone is going to get hurt doing this and then it’s going to come back on boxing. You need to take it seriously. Boxing is a professional, dangerous and brutal business – do not mess about and try to think this is show business, cameras and lights and fun and games.
"There is nothing funny about being in a ring with another man who wants to take your head off your neck. I’ve been there and done it. I’ve fought with ten-inch open gashes above my eye, broken noses and broken hands, it’s nothing to brag about but believe you me that someone will get hurt in one of these fights.
"That’s when it will come raining down and boxing will be called a joke of a sport and a disgrace and ‘this is wrong’ - so just stop it now. The guys are stupid and putting their lives at risk.
"You can’t mess around with people who are real fighters. This guy is going to get his backside handed to him off Floyd Mayweather. He’s gonna get played with and get absolutely schooled.
"The difference is that Floyd is a man of nine or ten stone. You come knocking on my door and I’m a man who is 17st and I can put 17st on the end of my fist.
"If my fist of 17st hits you on the chin then you just don’t wake up. So don’t play with people like me as it’s dangerous and it’s wrong."
Speaking with Action Bronson on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Rogan said of Jake and Logan Paul: "These Paul brothers, Logan and Jake, they're making big money moves. They're making a lot of money and they've got everybody talking about them...especially after [Jake's] one-punch knockout. I know when I see a guy who can punch. When he knocked out Nate [Robinson] and when he knocked out Ben Askren, that guy can crack. You do not want to be hit by him, that's real. You can hate on him all you want — he's doing it under intense pressure, on pay-per-view — he talks a tone of shit and he still knocks people out...it's kind of amazing what these kids are doing."
Sign up to the Men's Health newsletter and kickstart your home body plan. Make positive steps to become healthier and mentally strong with all the best fitness, muscle-building and nutrition advice delivered to your inbox.
Love what you’re reading? Enjoy Men’s Health magazine delivered straight to your door every month with Free UK delivery. Buy direct from the publisher for the lowest price and never miss an issue!
You Might Also Like