British former boxer Tony Bellew exploded into an expletive-filled rant when discussing Jake Paul’s recent claim that he is carrying the sport of boxing – labelling the YouTuber a ‘f****** muppet’.
Bellew, who held the WBC cruiserweight title from 2016 to 2017, was enraged by the YouTuber’s suggestion that he is the leading name in the sport.
The 39-year-old insisted he would not call the controversial content creator a true boxer until he fought someone with genuine, proper boxing experience.
“First of all, I’ve got no hate or malice towards Jake Paul, crack on, do what you’re doing, it’s great,” Bellew told The DAZN Boxing Show.
“But in no way shape or form can you claim to carry my sport you absolute f—ing muppet, he hasn’t even fought a boxer yet.
“So how can you claim to be carrying the sport when you haven’t fought someone who comes from my sport, it’s unbelievable!
“I don’t like the fact it’s labelled a boxing match because he’s not facing a boxer.”
Paul has become an incredibly divisive figure within the boxing community, and the YouTuber currently possesses a perfect 5-0 record in professional boxing.
The 24-year-old has defeated fellow content creator ‘AnEsonGib’, ex-NBA star Nate Robinson, retired UFC welterweight Ben Askren and former UFC champion Tyron Woodley on two occasions.
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Paul won their first bout on points but he sensationally knocked Woodley out on December 18 at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.
He stopped the 39-year-old with a powerful one-punch knockout in the sixth round of their rematch.
Paul, who will likely take a break from boxing after his win over Woodley, is reportedly searching for his next opponent to have had prior professional boxing experience.
Bellew offered some advice for Paul on who he should face next if he wants to be considered a legitimate boxer.
“If he really wants to fight a boxer, I can tell you someone he can face, Anderson Silva,” Bellew suggested.
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“Anderson Silva is an MMA guy, so he’s not a traditional boxer, but he has beaten a boxer and he hasn’t just beaten any boxer, he’s beaten the former world champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
“Face someone like him then we can listen to you talk about being a boxer, but until you face a boxer you can’t state that you’re a boxer and last thing you need to do is say you’re carrying my sport.”
The Liverpool-born star has spoken out against the recent trend of YouTubers-turned-boxers before, of which Paul is most notable.
Bellew has also taken to Twitter to fire shots at Paul before, responding to the American’s 2022 goals.
“You couldn’t carry the jockstrap of a proper BOXER son,” Bellew wrote.
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