YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul has been named Sports Illustrated’s Breakout Boxer of the Year.
Paul fought thrice in 2021, winning all three matches.
But overall the 24-year-old has fought just five times in his career since he started his career in January 2020.
Paul told the American magazine Sports Illustrated: “To think about how everything that happened in fashion came to be, it’s just mind-blowing.”
The company selected him for the award for his performance in the ring and for being ‘one of boxing’s biggest attractions’ outside it.
Their first fight of 2021 took place in April, in which Paul stunned former MMA star Ben Askren in less than two minutes.
In August there was a match against former UFC-champion Tyron Woodley.
It was a very close contest – Paul coming out on top via split decision.
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But there was only one winner when the pair faced off again in December.
A ruthless right hand from Paul dropped Woodley to canvas in the sixth round as Paul secured his fourth KO victory in five professional bouts.
And for those performances he received the Breakout Boxer of the Year award from Sports Illustrated.
Sports Illustrated claims they crowned her ‘not for her potential, but for what she already is.’
Paul has over 20 million subscribers on YouTube, 18 million followers on Instagram, and over 16 million on TikTok.
Boxing purists, however, resented the decision, as one begged on Twitter: “Stop this madness.”
And another raged: “But he’s not boxing. He’s taking career MMA fighters who are known for fighting on the ground and making them box. That’s a load of garbage. Fight a very boxer.” “
The latest announcement follows news that Paul was also the winner of ESPN’s KO of the Year.
That award was for the brutal beating of Woodley in December.
He was originally due to lock horns with Tommy Fury, not Woodley, before the Love Islander withdrew from their grudge match due to illness and injury.