Sports media personality Stephen A. Smith has taken aim at Jake Paul after the YouTuber-turned boxer called out legendary Mexican fighter Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez.
The younger of the Paul brothers extended his unbeaten boxing record to 5-0 with a brutal knockout of former UFC star Tyron Woodley last week.
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Following the win, the 24-year-old turned his attentions to Alvarez - the undisputed super middleweight world champion and a man regarded by many as the best pound-for-pound boxer on the planet.
Paul said after his latest triumph that his career is "about shutting people the f*** up", before claiming that he could become as successful as the legendary Muhammad Ali.
He also called Alvarez out personally in the wake of the Woodley bout, writing on Twitter: “I hope you’re training”.
Smith - who sporting analysis with ESPN has made him a household name for many sporting fans - insisted that Paul was not even close to being on the same level as Alvarez when it comes to boxing, and any such suggesting was simply "insulting".
“That’s a joke,” Smith said on ESPN's First Take.
“It’s an insult. Here’s the deal – Canelo’s the best in the world. He’ll knock Jake Paul out in one round. He’ll take him out.
“But more importantly, Jake Paul hasn’t earned the right to be in the ring with somebody as serious, and as lethal, and as accomplished as Canelo.”
Smith pointed to the fact that Paul is yet to fight an actual boxer, with his victories so far coming against men who have competed in other sports.
“Jake Paul can’t get away with lying anymore,” Smith said.
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) December 23, 2021
“He has been training with boxers and professional boxing trainers for more than four years, from my understanding.
“You knocked out a basketball player, you knocked out a guy in Ben Askren who was a UFC fighter. He was a wrestler.
“Tyron Woodley had the power to knock you out; sure, and he’s knocked people out before. But he’s a wrestler.
“You’re not fighting boxers. And somewhere along the way, people gotta stop walking around, laughing and acting like it’s alright for you to be beating up on cats that don’t box, while you’re calling yourself a boxer.”
Paul was supposed to fight professional boxer Tommy Paul - the brother of heavyweight champ Tyson - but a medical condition saw the Brit pull out of the fight and Woodley reinstated for a rematch that he ultimately lost.
“Now, in fairness to him, he [Paul] was gonna fight Tommy Fury... that’s a boxer,” Smith added.
“All I’m saying to Jake Paul is – you gotta fight boxers. Fighting these people that don’t box, that just get in the ring with you, that’s a problem.”
Jake Paul floors Tyron Woodley with brutal KO
Woodley, 39, had been pushing for a rematch ever since August’s bout didn’t go his way.
He even tattooed Paul’s name on his middle finger, something Paul said he had to do for a rematch to go forward.
It took a bit for the two fighters to settle in their rematch bout, though Paul took the edge early after a slow opening two rounds.
Woodley couldn’t seem to get much going in the first few minutes and held on after a few solid blows from ball.
By the third, though, Woodley seemed to settle in and landed an elbow to Paul’s forehead that sent blood pouring down his face early in the round.
Woodley delivered a strong right hook right to Paul’s head later in the round, too, and had Paul stumbling briefly.
By the sixth round, though, Paul found his moment and didn’t hold back.
His right hand connected directly with Woodley and sent the former UFC champ falling to the mat.
Paul is now 5-0 and has wins over YouTuber AnEsonGib, former NBA player Robinson, MMA fighter Ben Askren and Woodley.
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