From being a big personality on social media and world famous among the younger crowd, the now 26-year-old Jake Paul has in three years built a hype around his boxing career that is unparalleled.

When he steps into the ring against Tommy Fury (younger brother of heavyweight champion Tyson Fury) on Sunday evening in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, he is the main draw of the event.

- I've probably never been this excited for a fight.

I have wanted this match for years now and just waited and waited and waited.

It feels like it's Christmas Eve on Sunday and I'm excited to treat the fans to a show, he says to SVT Sport.

"I'm in the top three, for sure"

From being laughed at at first, the boxing world has slowly but surely earned Paul more and more respect.

The American lives and trains just like the best professionals and is now 6-0 in match results, four of which are victories by knockout.

Among the opponents are, for example, two former UFC champions in Tyron Woodley and Anderson Silva.

How far do you think you are right now from your dream of becoming world champion?

- In my head I'm already world champion, so mentally I'm close, but the physical part has to catch up.

By that I mean 10,000 hours of hard work, punches, muscle memory, things like that.

But in the next two or three years I will get there and then I think I will become world champion.

Do you see yourself as the biggest name in martial arts right now?

- I'm in the top three, for sure.

Statistically speaking, Canelo Alvarez and Conor McGregor are the other two.

Jake Paul floors MMA legend Anderson Silva during their boxing match in October 2022. Photo: TT

"The biggest criticism against me"

The criticism of Paul's career so far has been his choice of opponents.

Among other things, their age has been pointed out and the fact that three of them have had successful MMA careers, but not in boxing.

In Briton Tommy Fury, he meets an undefeated 23-year-old (8-0, 4 KOs) who comes from a boxing family where he got his skills through his mother's milk.

- This is the first time I've faced a so-called "professional boxer", which has been the biggest criticism against me, so I'm looking forward to ticking that off my list.


The gala in Saudi Arabia - where Swedish Badou Jack is also boxing for a WC belt - will be broadcast on Sportbladet starting at 20:00 on Sunday evening.