One of many rising stars of British boxing has hit out at Jake Paul seemingly being gifted a spot on huge PPV exhibits.
Embellished newbie John Hedges fought 44 occasions, profitable 4 nationwide titles and 7 worldwide gold medals, earlier than turning skilled on the age of 17. In doing so, he grew to become the youngest ever boxer to be signed up by Matchroom chief Eddie Hearn.
In February, the super-middleweight fighter went 5-0 at pro-level with a fourth spherical stoppage over Aleksander Nagolski at London’s O2 Area. On Could 21, he’ll return to the identical venue when he clashes with Jozef Jurko on the undercard of the Joshua Buatsi v Craig Richards battle, as he works in the direction of his final objective of changing into world champion.
Few can argue that ‘The Gentleman’, who’s educated by Mark Tibbs and is presently sparring with Billy Joe-Saunders, hasn’t earned his place within the full-time ranks. Signing with Hearn even meant forgoing his dream of preventing within the Olympic video games, a notion that will have meant him placing his profession on maintain in 2020 with amateurs barred from sparring in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Small marvel then, that the ascent of Paul, who fought fellow YouTuber Deji Olatunji in his sole newbie battle earlier than with the ability to flip professional, irks him. In actual fact, he thinks the profession of ‘The Downside Little one’ sends a harmful message throughout the sport.
“The worst factor about it’s we’ve [young boxers] come up from the newbie ranks, we’ve completed the small exhibits, we’ve pushed by way of and needed to dig in, take foolish fights, lose cash, pay for opponents – we’ve needed to do issues the laborious approach simply to get a deal within the first place, by no means thoughts the massive exhibits,” he informed the Mirror .
“After which if you get somebody whose not well-known for his or her expertise however well-known for his or her YouTubing, it’s like, what’s the technique to the highest? Do you simply need to be a reputation?”
Hedges, 18, respects what Paul has completed in his position as an ‘influencer’, however was additionally scathing in regards to the American’s personal 5-0 document, which has included three wins over former UFC fighters, an ex-basketball star, and one other web persona: ” Jake Paul had a cracking YouTube profession and hats off to him for what he’s completed,” he stated.
“He has expertise in that enterprise and he smashed it. However in boxing phrases he hasn’t even boxed anybody with a win, not to mention had a aggressive battle. I get that he’s boxed an ex-UFC champion [Tyron Woodley] but it surely’s like saying to a footballer go and tackle a rugby participant in rugby. It’s not their sport, it’s not their style.
“In order that’s the factor that’s hardest as a result of there are boys on the market, not simply me, who’re making an attempt to place the graft in with a whole lot of distractions and are coaching laborious, then you definately obtained somebody like that who comes alongside, places the call-outs out, after which will get alongside due to his title.”
Hedges added that the likes of Paul can serve to dishearten aspiring younger fighters: “He’s principally saying to the younger era ‘don’t trouble about coaching laborious as a result of I’ve completed nothing in 20 years and may come straight in on a giant platform and take over’.”
The Essex-based prodigy nevertheless, will concede one argument in favour of Paul’s presence in boxing. In a roundabout approach, he affords hope to younger boxers who could also be apprehensive they’ve missed the boat: “Regular saying was in the event you’re not into boxing by 18 you’re too late. However now children are seeing him, having not been within the sport two minutes, and getting the possibility to battle on huge PPV exhibits.”