JAKE PAUL is rapidly improving as a professional fighter ahead of his bout with Ben Askren, his sparring partner has revealed.
The YouTuber has two knockouts in as many bouts since turning over in 2020.
Hasim Rahman Jr – whose dad Sr famously knocked out Lennox Lewis – sparred before both of Paul’s two fights, with his brother Logan, 25, too.
And he hailed BJ Flores – an ex-cruiserweight contender – for his work as trainer and predicts the social media star will continue KOing opponents if he gets to handpick them.
Rahman Jr, 29, told BoxingScene: “I sparred Jake twice and the first time was like almost night and day the second time.
“The first time he was just learning, the second time was obviously months later and he definitely has dedicated himself to the craft of boxing and you can see the results in his sparring.
“He’s definitely throwing his punches better and sitting down on his punches. BJ has done a great job and he’s learning and he’s getting better.
“[The] proof is in the pudding. He even looked better from his first fight to his second fight, even though you couldn’t see much.
“Don’t sleep on Jake Paul he really trains, he really takes it serious and I think he’s going to keep knocking these guys out.
“If they keep letting him pick his opponents, he’s going to keep knocking them out.”
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Paul, 24, debuted last January stopping online rival ‘AnEsonGib’ before leaving ex-NBA player Nate Robinson, 36, flattened in November.
He faces his first big step up in competition on April 17, fighting retired UFC welterweight Ben Askren.
But Askren, 36, was renowned for his limited striking style but dominant wrestling and grappling skills.
As a result, Paul is the betting favourite to add the biggest name yet to his record and another highlight reel to his collection.
And Rahman Jr is in agreement, as he said: “Ben Askren, he’s probably going to get knocked out.
“Jake grew up fighting, I think he was a state champion wrestler.
“He has experience in combat, he’s not just like foreign to getting hit and that’s what people sleep on.
“People think that he just picked this up out of nowhere and he’s trying to semi work his way up.
“No, he’s dedicated to it, he’s dedicated to not being embarrassed when they turn on them lights.
“I wish him much continued success. He’s going to keep shocking a lot of people.”
Recently Paul has been involved in an internet feud with 5-0 Tommy Fury, the half-brother to WBC heavyweight champion Tyson, 32.
Light-heavyweight Tommy, 21, his trainer and dad John as well as promoter Frank Warren have all expressed their interest in fighting Paul.
And it would be the first time the millionaire vlogger would have fought an established fighter.
But Rahman Jr backed Paul to to take inspiration from his dad, the two-time champ who upset Lewis in April 2001, but lost the rematch seven months later.
He said: “I think that if he continues what he’s doing, if he continues to do that, you can’t put anything past any man.
“Maybe he could compete with the boxers, maybe he’ll shock somebody, you never know.
“If he keeps doing what he does, there’s no reason to count him out in any fight. I come from the Rahman family, so we already know when people get slept on that’s when they wake up the world.
“So, don’t sleep on that he can fight, you better stop sleeping on him he can fight.”