Mike Tyson says boxing should be thankful for YouTubers and that creators like Jake Paul should be given a belt

Mike Tyson and Jake Paul

  • Mike Tyson said boxing should be grateful that YouTubers came along.
  • The 54-year-old heavyweight participated in an exhibition Saturday alongside Jake Paul, competing in separate bouts.
  • Tyson's showcase with Roy Jones Jr. ended in a draw, while Paul brutally knocked out the former NBA player Nate Robinson in the second round.
  • Tyson said boxing was losing ground to the UFC but when YouTubers came along, things started to change.
  • "Give them some belts," Tyson said, after calling Paul a "God-gifted YouTube boxer."
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Mike Tyson said boxing should be thankful for YouTubers and thinks creators like Jake Paul who get in the ring should be given a belt.

The former heavyweight world champion, 54, participated at the same event Saturday with Paul, who has 20 million subscribers on YouTube.

Following the 23-year-old's vicious, second-round knockout win over the former NBA player Nate Robinson in a pro cruiserweight match, Tyson went eight rounds in an exhibition with fellow all-time great boxer Roy Jones Jr.

Tyson then turned-up to the post-event press conference at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and told reporters that Paul is a "God-gifted YouTube boxer."

Tyson said: "My ego says so many things but my reality is; they help boxing so much."

According to the veteran boxer, boxing lost ground to the UFC — a 27-year-old company which has firmly established itself as the world's leading mixed martial arts firm.

"Boxing owes these guys — YouTube boxers — some respect," Tyson said.

"Give them some belts because these guys make boxing alive. Boxing was pretty much a dying sport. The UFC was kicking our butt.

"Now we got these YouTubers, 20 million subscribers? Boxing is coming back thanks to these YouTube boxers.

"I believe the more anyone boxes, the better it is. Boxing has taken some beatings since the UFC has been around."

Paul dominated Robinson, knocking him down in the first round, again in the second, and then finishing him with a third and final knockdown later in the second.

After the victory, the youngster proceeded to issue call-outs to MMA fighters like Dillon Danis and Conor McGregor.

Tyson said he didn't like seeing the Robinson knockout because it was so brutal, but when a reporter told him about Paul's ambition in combat sports, he said: "That's beautiful."

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