JAKE PAUL has claimed he’s showing ‘early signs’ of the brain disease CTE ahead of his showdown with Ben Askren.
The YouTuber will lock horns with the former UFC welterweight in a boxing match in the early hours of Sunday morning.
And he’s sparked further uproar ahead of the crossover fight by claiming to be exhibiting symptoms of CTE (Chronic traumatic encephalopathy).
He said: “It’s a dangerous sport.
“That’s why, when people question my dedication to it, it’s like, I’m showing up every single day.
“I’m putting my mental health on the line, my brain is on the line.
“Like you said, I’ve gone and gotten brain scans and [I] have early signs of CTE.
“But, I love this sport and wouldn’t trade it for anything else.
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“I’m a fighter and people will see that whether it’s after Saturday night or whether it’s a year from now they will see that I’m a fighter.”
CTE is a degenerative brain disease that is caused by repeated head trauma.
But it can only be diagnosed by studying sections of the brain after death.
There are currently no scans or tests available to catch the disease in its infancy other than a surface diagnosis from a neurologist.
Paul’s claim to be suffering from the early effects of CTE could come back to haunt him in the future as athletic commissions may refuse to license him.
Paul, 24, goes into his clash with Askren as a huge favourite – despite only having two professional fights to his name.
And the former Disney star is confident of adding the former ONE Championship and Bellator 170lb champ’s name to his victim list.
He said: “These MMA guys think because they throw punches they know how to box.
“The world complained because I knocked out a basketball player and not a real fighter.
“So now I’m giving the people what they want by taking on a ‘real fighter.’
“After Ben Askren is added to my knockout meme collection, what can anybody say?
“This is why I’m confident in my ability to destroy this guy.
“They have no head movement, they’re slow, they aren’t going to the gym every day and boxing.”