OSCAR DE LA HOYA has hailed Jake Paul as “the real deal” and claimed he is “on his way” to becoming WORLD CHAMPION.
The American legend has been an admirer of Paul’s work in the ring and believes he has the beating of some of boxing’s best.
De La Hoya, 49, told TMZ Sports: “Let me tell you on thing about Jake Paul, he’s the real deal, I’m going to tell you that.
“With only four or five fights and the way he’s taking it serious, Jake Paul is the real deal.
“And I dare anyone who has boxing experience, who has MMA experience, to call him out because I’ll tell you one thing, this guy can beat a lot of good champions and even maybe great champions.
“So, Jake Paul is taking it serious. This is not a one-off, a two-off, a three-off, no.
“He wants to become a world champion and there’s no other way out of becoming world champion, you have to fight the very best.”
Paul has knocked out all four of his opponents, YouTuber “AnEsonGib”, ex-NBA star Nate Robinson, 37, as well as former UFC pair Ben Askren, 37, and Tyron Woodley, 40.
But after Tommy Fury, 22, pulled out of their December grudge match, the American is still yet to face a recognised boxer.
Nevertheless, De La Hoya has backed Paul to go all the way in the sport.
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He said: “He’s on his way to becoming a contender and he’s on his way to becoming a world contender and then a world champion, if he keeps it up.
“Look, all the social media stuff, everybody wants to be him, think about it, everybody wants followers, everyone’s on social media.
“What’s wrong with him having 19-plus million followers, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s wonderful for the sport.
“Enough with that BS, right? Let him be, he’s doing the right thing, he’s great for boxing and I really hope he does become world champion.”
Jake Paul knocked out Tyron Woodley in their rematch