Malik Scott, the head trainer for former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, believes social media star Jake Paul has become a true professional boxer.
Paul has an undefeated record of 5-0 with four wins by knockout, but he's never faced an actual boxer in the ring.
He was scheduled to face a boxer on at least three occasions - with all three fights fall through. Light heavyweight prospect Tommy Fury withdrew on two occasions - and heavyweight Hasim Rahman Jr. was pulled due to his inability to make the contract weight.
Next month, Paul will face the stiffest test of his career, in the form of MMA legend Anderson Silva. The fight, which takes place on October 29, will headline a Showtime pay-per-view card.
Silva, while a lot older, has actual boxing experience and he's also defeated an established pro boxer. Last year, Silva picked up an upset decision win over former world champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Scott views Paul as a big positive for the sport - due to his massive following on social media.
He gives Paul the edge in his upcoming boxing assignment, but he admits it could be a difficult fight with Silva's level of experience being a factor.
"I think Jake Paul is good for modern day boxing, I think he wouldn’t even be allowed in boxing if boxing was how it was in the old days," Scott told fairbettingsites.co.uk
"He wouldn’t even be allowed in because people really judge fighters as fighters, real fighters. You had to have a pedigree. You had to be fighting for a cause, things like that. But I think for modern day times, I think he’s very good for it because of the revenue that he brings, the light that he brings to the market, the branding that he brings to it. So it has to be a good thing. I’m not going against logic and common sense. More eyes are on boxing because not just of Jake Paul, but because of influencers, because of social media, because these guys are boxing.
"The matches are real safe that he’s taken. He’s not taking real, real chances in my opinion. Even Silva, Silva’s a tad bit old. Even if you look at him doing boxing exhibitions, he doesn’t move as he did. Especially if it’s just boxing and not using his legs. Silva’s being brought in, he’s got a great name. He’s a great fighter. But I believe Jake Paul has also become a good fighter as well. Is he a world beater? Absolutely not. But is he an influencer fighter? Not to me no more. I’m not going to keep saying it because he’s actually looking better than some boxers.
"Silva’s technically sound. Like I said, he’s older, though. He’s not as quick as he used to be. His reflexes are not as good as they used to be. But he has the pedigree, he has a good foundation. He knows the difference between stepping to his left and stepping to his right, having a good defense, keeping his hand outs to make guys earn it, to get to his chin. He knows how to do those things very well. But I just think he was chosen for a reason. He’s a pawn, a part of the Jake Paul story, you can say."