Jake Paul Recognized As ‘Breakout Boxer Of The Year’ By Sports Illustrated
Celebrity boxer Jake Paul has been named as Sports Illustrated’s Breakout Boxer of the Year.
Paul, 24, fought just three times in 2021, winning two by KO/TKO and one by split decision. While the YouTuber-turned-boxer has helped bring in a younger audience to boxing, many fans argue that he has yet to face a legitimate professional boxer.
Sports Illustrated chose Paul for his performance in the ring and being “one of boxing’s biggest attractions.”
“To think about how all the things that happened in the fashion that it all happened, it’s just sort of mind-blowing,” Paul told the magazine after their selection.
Paul’s first fight of 2021 was against former MMA star Ben Askren, who he knocked out in less than two minutes.
Paul then took on former UFC champion Tyron Woodley, which ended in a split decision. The two then faced each other again in December after Tommy Fury pulled out due to injury and medical complications.
Fury, the half-brother of WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, would have been the first professional boxer Paul took on.
Woodley was floored in the fourth round by Paul. ESPN awarded him knockout of the year for that.