LOGAN PAUL’S sparring partners have warned not to underestimate the YouTuber’s ‘deceptive’ skills as he attempts to pull off a miracle.
Paul faces Hall of Fame legend Floyd Mayweather in February 2021, in a ‘special exhibition fight’.
And he will do so having had just ONE professional bout, a scrappy, split-decision defeat to his internet rival KSI, 27, in November 2019.
But Paul’s group of sparring partners insist the social media sensation has a lot more to offer than just millions of followers and loyal fans.
They told SunSport the 25-year-old is gifted with natural ability and power – as they work to mould the boxing upstart into the ultimate underdog.
Welterweight prospect Vlad Panin, who has the job of mimicking Mayweather’s movement, said: “I think he’s pretty confident.
“Because of the size he has, he pretty much has every physical advantage bar speed, reflexes and experience.
“But he is younger, bigger and stronger and he’s got deceptive speed.
“We’ve been sparring with 18oz gloves and he’s still strong with even with the headgear.”
Angel Lozano, a cruiserweight brought into provide strength and power, added: “He’s pretty confident, and he knows who he’s fighting.
“He’ll say a couple of times, ‘I’m a YouTuber but I’m fighting the greatest fighter of all time’.
“He knows what he’s going against but his size and power will be to his advantage. But, he is fighting the greatest.
“He’s just going to have to keep Floyd uncomfortable for the whole six rounds.”
Lozano’s trainer Daniel Hernandez has been on hand for the secret sparring sessions, held in the back garden of Paul’s mansion in Los Angeles.
He believes Paul needs to use every bit of his six inch and FOUR STONE weight advantage and quickly learn old tricks of the trade.
Hernandez explained: “Even though he’s a beginner he needs to use a lot of veteran tactics, like forearm on the inside, push off, pushing his head down with his other arm.
“He’s going to have to use a lot of things he maybe doesn’t know yet but hopefully learns very quickly on how to fight like a seasoned pro.
“But you need to be a veteran to do those things, so does he have enough time to learn that? Probably not, but hopefully Logan goes in there confident.”
Panin too agrees that Paul will need to bring the fight to Mayweather and make the 43-year-old as uncomfortable as possible.
It could force the usually-cautious veteran out of his safe back foot boxing style and into a more physical battle, suiting the much larger Paul.
And he points out that it remains to be seen how well Mayweather – who has boxed just one round in two years – can take heavyweight a shot.
Panin said: “Weight classes definitely exist for a reason.
“And, at the end of the day you can make him miss but when he hits you it’s still coming from a heavyweight, because he walks around at around 220lb.
“Given this is a shorter fight, and Floyd usually likes to start slow and pick it up as the rounds go on, he doesn’t have that luxury in this type of fight.
“I personally don’t think Floyd will knock Logan out. Floyd’s not that strong of a puncher, I mean he’s sharp but Logan’s a big guy.
“I’m really not that worried for Logan, I think he can survive for six rounds, because of his length he can pull away from shots. As long as he’s not getting hit flush.
“Another thing is Floyd’s 43 now and he hasn’t fought in a while and often you forget what it feels like to get hit in those smaller gloves.
“At 43-year’s-old if Logan does land a good right hand on Floyd how’s he going to react? That’s a question too.”
With the fight lasting just half of the usual 12 championship rounds, Lozano feels it will suit Paul better.
He said: “It’s only going to be six rounds so he’s going to have to keep Floyd uncomfortable.
“Floyd usually lets people steal rounds by moving around and letting themselves tire out, but it’s only six rounds so it will be interesting to see how they both come out.”
An expected but not critical loss for Paul against Mayweather would leave the American winless in his three attempts in the ring.
But with his dedication and priceless experience of fighting under the brightest lights, he has been tipped for a good future in boxing, so long as he remains grounded.
Lozano said: “If he commits himself he can go pretty far.
“I’ve been in there with some top guys and Logan has given me more trouble than even some of these pros have.
“If he continues to fight great sparring and stay dedicated then he can go pretty far.”
Coach Hernandez added: “If he does dedicate the time, if he does have a great coach then he could definitely be a contender.
“I wouldn’t go as far to say a champion, as we are yet to see how he evolves in the pro ranks, but he could definitely be a legitimate boxer.”