JAKE PAUL has vowed to return to the ring this year to make up for the collapse of the long-awaited showdown between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury.
The eagerly-anticipated Battle of Britain was due to take place in Saudi Arabia last month but was scuppered when Fury was ordered to have a trilogy fight with Deontay Wilder.
And YouTuber-turned-boxer Paul intends to ease the pain of Joshua vs Fury collapsing by lacing up his gloves again before year's end.
During an appearance on The MMA Hour, he said: "I think boxing needs me to fight again this year.
"A lot of big fights aren't happening because of Covid. They can't make Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury.
"So I think boxing needs me to fight again and I feel a responsibility to help this sport grow."
Former Disney star Paul was last in action in August against ex-UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.
The Problem Child, 24, registered a split decision victory over Woodley to stretch his professional record to 4-0.
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Paul – along with his older brother Logan – has divided opinion in the boxing world, with many believing they're making a mockery of the sport.
But unified heavyweight champ Joshua – who is gearing up for a showdown with Oleksandr Usyk – disagrees with that notion, saying of Jake: "[He’s] great for boxing.
"He's trying, zero amateur experience, throwing himself in the deep end.
“He'll probably learn a lot more than a lot of fighters, throwing himself in the deep end, putting himself under pressure.
"Good luck to him."
I think boxing needs me to fight again this year.
Fury shares Joshua's opinion, telling iFL TV: “A lot of people say all this YouTube stuff is crap and they don’t want to see all these people in boxing.
"But I’m the heavyweight champion and the best fighter that has ever lived and I like to see these YouTubers fight.
“I like to see it because it brings millions more eyes to my sport where I’m the master at.
"And just like general people, who would never watch boxing, watch it because of the YouTube guys, Love Island and TikTokers.
“The more eyes to boxing the better and it makes it better for the young fighters coming through.
"If there are millions of people watching TikTokers and stuff then they might tune in again and watch some real boxing later on in life.
“It’s all good, it's all PR work for our sport. Anyone who doesn’t like it is just jealous because they ain't making the money they are getting.
“That’s what it’s about – jealousy. There’s a lot of jealousy in this world, especially people hating on others trying to follow their dreams and don’t have the guts to follow their own."
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