“They Owe These YouTube Boxers Some Kind Of Respect” | Mike Tyson Believes In Jake Paul And Boxing’s Generation YouTube

Image Credit: Twitter @SunSport screen shot

Over the weekend, Jake Paul routed former UFC middleweight legend Anderson “The Spider” Silva in a dogfight of a boxing match that pushed “The Problem Child.” The win signaled Paul’s ascension as a top contender in boxing and has now made converts out of non-believers of the new YouTube boxing segment of the pugilism business.

Now the pugilist formerly known as “the baddest man on the planet,” Mike Tyson, is joining the newly converted fans of the non-traditional sector of combat sports athletes.

“My ego says so many things. But my reality is they helped boxing so much,” Tyson said to The Sporting News. “They owe these YouTube boxers some kind of respect, they should give them some belts because these guys make boxing alive.”

Ironically, Tyson couldn’t be more accurate. Paul is set to enter the World Boxing Council (WBC) ratings next week on November 8 at the 60th annual WBC Convention. Paul will reportedly be ranked in the light-heavyweight or cruiserweight division; however, his last fight was fought at cruiserweight.

After his defeat of Silva, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman congratulated Paul and scolded any questioning his legitimacy.

“After last night, whoever says Jake Paul is not a legit fighter is simply bitter and a hater,” Sulaiman posted on Twitter. “Congratulations on a sensational, entertaining win and a great show of sportsmanship. Fair play.”

Tyson agrees and believes that the new influx of social media fighters and non-traditional boxers, in general, is a blessing to the sport.

“Boxing was pretty much a dying sport,” said Tyson. “UFC was kicking our butts, and now we got these YouTube boxers? 25 million views? Boxing is coming back. Thanks to the YouTube boxers.”

However, the public has yet to respond with their wallets. The early estimates for the Paul vs. Silva pay-per-view buys don’t look promising, according to Paul, who admitted the post-fight buzz wasn’t as loud as some of his past fights.

Paul appeared on his brother Logan Paul’s “ImPaulsive” podcast, saying that the fight likely did “around 200,000 to 300,000” buys, which he called “kind of upsetting.” He blamed the fan speculation from an Anderson Silva interview, where Silva said he’d been knocked out in training camp. Paul says that hurt people’s perception of the fight.

“The pre-buys were going crazy — up, up, up,” Paul said. “And on Wednesday, when the news came out about Anderson saying he got knocked out or whatever, and the fight was in jeopardy and all this press came out, the pre-buys tanked; all the way down.

“The general public sees that and, ‘Oh, it’s not happening,’ Tommy (Fury) pulled out, Hasim (Rahman Jr) pulled out. ‘Jake fucking Paul can’t get an event together. This is done.’ It killed ticket sales. We were still selling tickets; that day, everything went to zero.

“Halloween, World Series, Sunday football — this is the worst time of the year to fight, but guess what, I had to fight,” he said. “All my fights from now on will be in the summer with no sports. There’s, like, this perfect gap in July (and) early August where there’s no sports. And by the way, all my other fights were during COVID. No one had anything to do and anything to watch. The NFL was cancelled, the NBA, nothing was on.”

Either way, YouTubers becoming boxers is real, and Jake Paul is leading the pack. With Mike Tyson as a fan and believer, the YouTube wave is here to stay.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.