Jake Paul speaks about his fight against Nate Robinson, his love of boxing, calling out Conor McGregor, impressing Mike Tyson & more for Day 3 of HNHH's "12 Days of Christmas."
Jake Paul may very well be one of the most hated people on the internet although he's never let that get in the way of accomplishing his goals. In fact, Paul has embraced the negativity and is now one of the biggest YouTubers on the planet. With 20.3 million subscribers and 7 billion views to his name, Paul is a polarizing personality and it's easy to see why. Whether Paul is getting into beef with other YouTubers, releasing new songs, or cementing himself as a viable boxer, he is always eliciting a strong reaction. Like many other provocateurs before him, Paul's haters are just as engaged in his world as his fans are.
While many were first introduced to Paul back in 2017 thanks to his track "It's Everyday Bro," it's clear that the Ohio-native has grown considerably since then. In fact, Paul is now deadset on becoming one of the biggest boxers in the world, and he's already making quite a splash in the industry. Back in 2018, Paul fought the YouTuber known as Deji in an undercard that saw his brother Logan take on KSI in the main event. Paul won that fight in a decision and about a year and a half later, he followed up the victory with another, this time against another YouTuber, Aneson Gib. In this fight, Paul won in a first-round TKO which ultimately caught the eye of Nate Robinson, who challenged him to a match.
Just a few weeks ago, Paul and Robinson finally entered the ring as part of the Mike Tyson Vs. Roy Jones Jr. card. In the second round, Paul delivered a brutal knockout to Robinson which sent shockwaves throughout social media. As a result of the win, Paul was praised by veterans of the boxing industry and now, he wants to take on professionals like Conor McGregor.
As part of HNHH's 12 Days Of Christmas interview series, Paul sat down with us to talk about the aftermath of the Robinson fight and all of his plans for the future.
This interview has been edited for clarity. You can also watch the interview in the video below.
Day Three: A Conversation With Jake Paul
HNHH: You know, obviously 2020 was a hard year for a lot of people with the virus and everything that came with it. But it was also a year for growth. A lot of people learned a lot of lessons. How would you describe your 2020?
Jake Paul: Yeah, exactly that, you know, making a lot of mistakes, going through a lot of hard times. I've been dealing with stuff, you know, outside the ring. Health issues, I broke my nose, everything to do with the lockdown and quarantining and family members getting sick, and everything like that. It's been a hard year, but I think it's what you said, you know, it's about learning. It's a time to learn. And it's time for us to come together as much as we possibly can as a community. And for us to learn from this and grow.
For sure. And, you said that you broke your nose prior to the fight against Nate Robinson. How did that affect your training schedule? And how were you able to get back on track in order to perform at such a high level?
Yeah, it was a scary moment. I was meditating, fell flat on my face, snapped my nose in half, I had to go to the doctor to crack it back into place right on the spot. And for a whole week, my nose was swollen, and it was really hard to breathe. But we only took like two days off, and immediately just went back to doing everything that I could, like running, hitting the heavy bag hitting the mitts, but there were certain moments where I'd be hitting the heavy bag, and I would slip off and accidentally hit myself in the nose and it would just be super painful. It was scary, you know because we didn't know how fast it was going to heal to the point where I was able to fight. I mean, I would have fought regardless. But thankfully, it healed up really nicely. But it's definitely still healing, even right now.
Speaking of the Nate Robinson fight, what drew you to fighting him specifically?
I think for me, it was the fact that he was this elite athlete. And proving to people that I'm a better athlete than this elite athlete, right? You can't just go into the boxing ring and think you're hot shit. It's all about the experience. And it's all about putting the work in and Nate Robinson was talking shit to me. He was loud mouthing on Instagram. And so I was like, this is a perfect fight. He's a household name. He's an athlete, so everyone is gonna pick him to win. And I'm gonna knock him out.
"It's all about putting the work in, and Nate Robinson was talking shit to me. He was loud mouthing on Instagram. And so I was like, this is a perfect fight. He's a household name. He's an athlete, so everyone is gonna pick him to win. And I'm gonna knock him out."
And what was the origin of that shit-talking? Like, why? Why was he coming after you specifically? Did you guys have history before that? Or was it just kind of out of the blue?
Yeah, it was out of the blue. There was no history before that. I think he saw my fight against Aneson Gib where I got the TKO. I think that's what inspired him to call me out. He was like, ‘you know, you're beating up all these YouTubers, fight a real athlete.’
Your first fight was against Deji [YouTuber] and that went to a decision, then you had the fight against Aneson Gib. So now that you're fighting against Robinson, who's a high-level athlete, how did that change your training regimen and what was your headspace going into a fight like that?
It didn't change my training regimen. You know, I trained, like, I'm fighting the best fighter in the world every single time. So I always have the same mentality, I always push myself as hard as I can possibly go and I knew he was going to be fast. We knew he was going to be, you know, sort of awkward and green in the ring. So, you know, we kind of prepared for that. But nothing else really changed. I was prepared for anything and anyone and going into the fight.
Image via Jake Paul
A lot of people expected him to be at this “peak physical performance.” They expected a high-level athlete who can do some damage. Did you come into the fight expecting more of a challenge or did you expect it to play how it did?
I expected him to be awkward like you were saying and rushing in and kind of not really knowing how to gather himself. And so we trained for that for sure. But what I didn't expect was how awkward he was. It was like he was switching from southpaw to orthodox, he was doing all this crazy shit. And he was holding on to me, I remember there's one point where I swing on him with the right hand and he grabs my arm, like completely, not even a legal move. But I think it's something that Floyd Mayweather does. And I think Floyd Mayweather was helping him train for this, I think over the phone. But yeah, definitely just a real awkward fighter. And I said the whole entire time that you're going to get knocked out in the first round, which he got knocked down in the first round and was given 20 seconds to get up. But I just had to settle in, figure out my timing, and pick apart my opponent. I didn't get punched one time in the fight. So for me, I'm happy with my performance because they could have been a little bit sharper.
"What I didn't expect was how awkward [Nate Robinson] was. It was like he was switching from southpaw to orthodox, he was doing all this crazy shit. And he was holding on to me, I remember there's one point where I swing on him with the right hand and he grabs my arm, like completely, not even a legal move. But I think it's something that Floyd Mayweather does. And I think Floyd Mayweather was helping him train for this, over the phone. Definitely just a real awkward fighter."
Following the match, Robinson made a statement but didn't really say if he would ever get back in the ring or not. But did he ever reach out to you specifically and give you props for the fight? Or was there any sort of post-fight conversation between you two?
Yeah, we were chatting in the DMs a little bit, just going back and forth, being good sports, you know, and I was telling him what I think he should do. I think he should fight again, and be somebody. I think he should get back in the ring. Everyone will want to see him against somebody else. There's a lot of opportunities here for him. I think he grew like 500,000 followers on Instagram, like he can really capitalize off of this moment. I wish him the best as well.
We saw you hanging out with DaBaby and Stunna 4 Vegas this past week. You were all doing the Nate Robinson challenge. With all these memes that have been flying around on social media, from what you gather, has Nate been taking that stuff okay? Is he cool with it?
You know, I'm not sure. I can't imagine he loves it, but, it's kind of accepting that when you sign up to go into a boxing match, anything could possibly happen. And so win, lose, or draw, you have to be okay with that outcome. And that's something that you have to accept. And the internet is a cruel, harsh place. And the internet is undefeated. And so you can't really get too attached to what people have to say, because a week later, you can prove them wrong and do something great. Or a week later, they're gonna hate you, or a week later, they're gonna love you. It's so wishy-washy.
After the fight a lot of professional boxers were showing love and bigging up your skills. They believe you have a chance to become a big part of the boxing industry. What does it feel like to get that respect from those who have performed at the highest level?
It's awesome. It's an honor. It's an honor to be welcomed into the boxing community by some people. I think some people still are skeptical about it. But you saw Mike Tyson in his post-fight interview, he said YouTube boxing is helping to save a dead sport and I couldn't agree more. We have this young audience who otherwise wasn't interested in boxing, and these are millions and millions of people. And, you know, we're paving a way, and helping them, we're just adding to the sport. There are people that think we're taking away from the sport, but we're not, we're adding to it. I'm sparring professionals in Las Vegas, the boxing capital of the world, you know, so some people are just haters at this point, and they're going to see that we’ll continue to rise. So their opinion doesn't f*cking matter, which is the beauty of it. Like, guess what, guys? Guess what, people are accepting me and you're not going to be the one to stop me from coming in. Like, if anything, you're just adding fuel to my fire because you're talking about me.
The Mike Tyson fight was a pretty good fight. It got a lot of people feeling nostalgic. But the talk on the internet, it was all about you and Nate Robinson, and a lot of people said that you guys overshadowed the Tyson fight, which I'm not sure a lot of people would have expected. How do you feel getting that sort of reaction?
It’s surreal. I don't know if I did you know, I don't know if at this point in my career I could say I overshadowed Mike Tyson. But if that's what people are saying, then that's what people are saying. In training camp, my goal was to put on the best performance possible to make people say, wow. And that's what we talked about every single day. This is an opportunity of a lifetime. ‘Jake, there's going to be tens of millions of people watching, you need to go out there and put on a fucking show.’ And that's, that's what we did. And so, you know, it paid off and I'm glad that people are entertained. I'm glad I could provide some entertainment during these hard times.
"I don't know if at this point in my career I could say I overshadowed Mike Tyson. But if that's what people are saying, then that's what people are saying. In training camp, my goal was to put on the best performance possible to make people say, 'wow.' And that's what we talked about every single day."
Even though there was Coronavirus, there were still a lot of great sporting events this year. How do you feel the Mike Tyson card and your fight with Robinson compared to some of the other great moments we saw in 2020?
I think it's number one. I don't think we were topped. I mean everyone was talking about it. From the numbers to the internet to everyone. It was electric. The performances, the commentators. Mike Tyson fighting, the big knockout that I got. I think that was the most electric night of the year.
Just a week after your Gib fight, we got to see Deontay Wilder vs Tyson fury in what was a big match. A lot of people were split on who was going to win that and Fury ended up putting on a clinic. How do those kinds of matches inspire your training and what you want to accomplish in the sport?
Even though Deontay Wilder lost, he’s a big inspiration to me because he started boxing at the age of 21. And he became the heavyweight champion of the world. A lot of people doubt me and they doubt my ability, but I started boxing when I was 20. So I've been doing it for three years now. Deontay Wilder became the champion of the world, why can't I? That's the way I see it. And so for them to have that fight and have another amazing, exciting moment of the year. It's inspiring. Tyson fury is also a beast, and I respect everything he's done. He's gone through the hardest of times and fought back to become a champion. So both of those guys are legends. Both of those guys, you know, deserve tons of props, and I'm excited to maybe see them fight for the third time.
In the UFC world, there were a lot of other big fights. Guys like Israel Adesanya really putting themselves on the map this year then you have Khabib, Gaethje, and all these other fighters. Do you find UFC fights inspire you as well?
No, 100%. I've been a UFC fan my whole entire life since the beginning. I remember Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz and all these guys going at it and having sick fights. But UFC is awesome. I'm a big fan of Izzy [Adesanya] which was amazing because he was commentating the fight. I want to bring those UFC fighters into the boxing ring and go toe to toe with them. I know a lot of them are already calling me out. So we'll see what happens.
"I've been a UFC fan my whole entire life since the beginning. I remember Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz and all these guys going at it and having sick fights. But UFC is awesome. I'm a big fan of Izzy [Adesanya]. I want to bring those UFC fighters into the boxing ring and go toe to toe with them."
Would you ever go the other way and maybe try your hand at UFC?
Maybe... shit, if the bag is right? But right now I'm on top of the world in the boxing game, so we'll see. But I'm a state wrestler so I don't know. You never know, if you told me three years ago that I'd be fighting on the Mike Tyson undercard knocking out in a Robinson, I wouldn't believe you. So maybe three years from now, I'll be going up against some MMA fighter in the UFC in the Main Event.
Image via Jake Paul
Beyond 2020 you were calling guys out after your fight against Robinson like KSI and Conor McGregor. Who else are some of the guys that are on your list? And have you gotten any offers to fight them?
I've been overwhelmed for the past eight days now with offers and brands and people reaching out. And we're gonna see who makes the most sense. I know some of those opponents that I called out are scared. They're acting like they have other shit going on, you know, they all of a sudden got quiet when I started calling them out. But we'll see, I want to challenge myself, I want to put on an amazing fight. I want to be a big name person. So we're gonna make it happen here shortly.
I saw that you were on your brother's podcast recently and you guys floated the idea of maybe fighting each other. Is that something that you would want to be your next fight? Or would that be something that you would want to do later on down the line?
I would want to do it later down the line. I think when we both started talking shit to each other, we both got amped up. And we were like, ‘Fuck you, I'll beat you.’ But then the dust settles and like, we're so supportive of each other. But I would kick his ass, but I don't know when or if he wants that smoke. But I don't see that happening anytime soon.
You guys had also spoken during the podcast about how that might affect your relationship?
Yeah, it'd be interesting, you know, like punching your brother in the face and there has to be one winner. And the shit-talking that comes with that and the mental aspect that comes with that.
With COVID and everything, it completely impacted the way sporting events were conducted. For instance, the NBA was in a bubble while other sports don’t have fans. When you fought Gib back in January, you were in a massive stadium with fans all around. You were able to call out KSI and created this cool moment. But against Robinson, only friends and family were in attendance and you ended up creating an arguably bigger moment, but couldn’t really get a crowd reaction for it. How would you describe the difference between those two experiences?
Yeah, it was interesting. It definitely wasn't as fun. Everything was super strict. You know, it was silent in the arena. When I won. It was just silent, really, like, nobody's there to cheer or anything, so it was just awkward. I didn’t even feel like I won. I was kind of just like ‘alright.’ There wasn't any energy in the building. But, you know, that's the times we're living in right now. And this is how we have to continue to play and do sports. You know, if we want everyone to be safe, but I definitely would have liked to have a crowd there if it was possible.
As an entertainer, you’re someone who feeds off of a crowd whether they are with you or against you. So knowing you wouldn’t have that energy to feed off of, how did you prepare for the fight mentally?
Yeah, this is definitely very different. This felt more like a sparring match. My other fights felt electric in a way, like you're saying with the crowd, and people cheering for you and against you. There's definitely more sensory overload, and when there's a crowd, but this was more like a sparring match, and in practice, we would train and spar with no music on, completely silent because we knew that's how it was going to be.
In terms of your YouTube career, how did Coronavirus really change that for you? How did that affect the way you operated this year?
I live in a house with all the people that I make content with, so it didn't change much. We just couldn't go outside, you couldn't go into public, we couldn't go into stores and film content, we couldn’t do any of the stuff that we normally do but it definitely made things a little bit more difficult from everything else, business meetings, you know, everything having to be digital. But, you have to roll with the punches.
And did that affect your training and your ability to get back in the ring? Because I assume you're out in LA, right?
Yeah, I'm in LA. But I mean, for training, the beauty of it is I live with my boxing coach, I have a boxing ring in my house. So that's why I was blessed enough to be able to keep on training and to not skip a beat.
During the early days of the virus, did you have anything lined up in terms of boxing that got canceled? Maybe another fight? Or was there anything else you were excited for that had to go by the wayside?
I mean, yeah, just like, certain business stuff that we had planned certain music videos, and events that I was invited to be a part of. But you know, the biggest thing, like you said, was waiting to get a fight. I knew that there was going to be a fight. I just didn't know how long it was going to be until we were actually able to, you know, sanction and fight. So it took a little bit longer because there were fights that were in the works, but then they got pushed back in because everything was Coronavirus.
Was Nate Robinson, the only person you were thinking of fighting, or was there some other people in there?
There were some other people. There's always a bunch of people, you know, different offers and different ideas. But my team always picks the option that makes the most sense from all different angles. So, yeah, we just want to make the right decision always.
Image via Jake Paul
On the music side of things, you dropped a freestyle before the fight against Robinson. What are you really looking to achieve with the music side of things?
For me, it's first and foremost, it's just fun, you know, I have fun with it. And it's something that creatively excites me. But I want to be a Platinum artist. I want to drop hits, I want to drop singles that do numbers, and I want to create music that the younger generation of kids can relate to learn from, and be turned up by. And we'll see what happens.
Who are some of your favorite artists right now?
"King Von, I’ve been listening to a bunch of his stuff. Lil Durk. There's a ton of good people, but I just have to go with Drake, I just bumped his shit on repeat."
And how do they influence your own music?
I think, first and foremost, just like the quality, you know, there's a certain bar that has to be met for people to actually fuck with your shit. So they set the bar, and you got to do your best to get up there. And I think the meaning of their lyrics is something that I care a lot about, because I'm more of a lyrics guy than a beat guy. So I like to really listen to what these artists are talking about in their music and the meaning behind what they're saying.
When you look at your last release and compare it to “It’s Everyday Bro” from 2017, there is an obvious improvement in your rapping ability. Even on our website, the commenters said they noticed you’ve improved. How have you been able to take the time to improve your craft, especially with such a busy schedule?
Oh yeah, I think it's just time. I was in the studio almost every day for a year and a half. And with boxing stuff, I'm not able to get into the studio as much, but I still try to almost every weekend. Just putting in that effort, putting in that time showing up and being present. There's no secret to it. Just work and dedication and showing up and going hard and having fun.
Like I mentioned before, you were seen hanging out with Dababy and Stunna 4 Vegas. Do you have any plans to maybe get in the studio with them and record a track?
Maybe. You might see a couple of features coming soon. I need to get back in the studio. Like I said, I've been overwhelmed. Haven't really even taken a couple of days off yet, but I'm definitely gonna be dropping music soon. I have some cool features, some cool ideas. And, you know, I just want to get creative and keep on putting out hits until my next fight comes around. So, we'll see.
Just to wrap up. If you could describe 2020 in what you're 2020 in one word, what would it be and why?
Roller coaster. I think there was a lot of ups and downs. A lot of fast moments, a lot of slow moments, a lot of highs, a lot of lows. And, you know, it sort of leaves you with a headache when you're done with the ride. But, uh, but it was a fun ride.
Alright, dope. Well, thank you so much for taking the time, and congrats on your big win.
Thank you. I appreciate you, bro.