No matter what Jake Paul has done in the ring thus far, a lot of fight fans think he’s a lousy fighter.
So when Matchroom Chairman Eddie Hearn very calmly and directly downplayed Paul’s skills to his face by saying he was “not a world-class fighter, and never will be” and an “average fighter,” the memes quickly arrived online. Hearn was a bit awkward when it came to doing business with Paul.
” I don’t believe he enjoyed my comments about his being an average fighter which again, I stand behind – that’s still quite complimenting, I feel,” Hearn stated on The MMA Hour .
Paul, of course, disagreed with the Matchroom exec this past Thursday as they held court as co-promoters selling Katie Taylor vs. Amanda Serrano, the first female pay-per-view headliner to headline Madison Square Garden. The YouTuber and boxer turned YouTube star argued for his greatness in that exchange as well as subsequent ones. This was at least partly based on the potential he has over the next few years.
No matter what it might have looked like, Hearn said he wasn’t trying to insult his temporary partner.
“The problem is, I won’t be disrespectful, but at the same time, I’m not going to brown-nose him, as we call,” said Hearn. “I’m going to be honest. Many fighters are above average. That’s not poor, that’s not good, it’s in the middle. So I’m saying that you’re an average professional fighter. That’s a massive compliment.
“But this is a guy who would say to me, off-camera, ‘In two years, I will beat Canelo [Alvarez].’ And I would sort of look around for a camera and realize there isn’t one, and I think, wow. I think he’s so deluded. So deluded, but that delusion and that confidence will actually help him in the ring, because he does go in there and genuinely think he’s a world-class fighter. It’ll get him knocked out eventually, but I think people get a little baffled by his confidence, and it’s not fake confidence. It’s not fake confidence. He really believes he is a world-class fighter
If Hearn doesn’t believe that Paul is a world-class fighter, he certainly believes in the 25-year-old’s promotional abilities. Hearn is nothing but complimentary about the fact that Paul has made such a splash in boxing and also praised his efforts on the groundbreaking event with Taylor and Serrano.
Hearn knows boxing well enough to know the differences between hype and reality. Hearn is able to tell the difference when it comes time for evaluating fighters who are top-notch and others who aren’t.
” Paul Hearn stated that he had sparred these top-five fighters and that he didn’t know them. “He said, ‘They’re the top-five cruiserweights in the world.’ Is said, ‘Well, there’s four world champions, and they’re not them.'”
The same goes for Paul’s prospective opposition, such as reality star and Tyson Fury relative Tommy Fury, who’s danced around a potential fight with his fellow celebrity.
“Tommy Fury’s an average fighter,” Hearn said. He’s not horrible. He’s not any good. He’s average. But I don’t mean that as disrespectful. There are many people who don’t have the means to be average .
Paul was invited by Hearn to join him behind the barrier that Madison Square Garden promoters have created. Given what Hearn had just said, he was concerned that there would be friction. They sat together and kept it professional. Paul was not happy about a split decision in favor of Taylor, but Hearn chalked that up to the usual journey of rival promoters.
Hearn enjoyed the opportunity to work with Paul once again before their charges were locked in the ring. Afterward, he said he would be open to a rematch with Taylor or Serrano. He said that the possibility of Paul performing alongside Conor McGregor was even better.
However long Hearn is in business with Paul, he’ll remain a fan of what the fighter brings to the table.
” I’m eager to see his next move,” Hearn stated. “I think he’s very exciting, he brought a huge amount of eyeballs to Taylor/Serrano, I think he’s an engaging character, and I think he can fight a little bit.”