Badou Jack believes the current trend of boxing crossovers and celebrity exhibitions is good for the sport as a whole, and pointed out that even greats such as Muhammad Ali have dabbled in the concept.
Jack was initially set to face Jean Pascal in chief support to Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s encounter with Logan Paul, in an attempt to avenge a split decision loss in their first encounter. However, Pascal tested positive for three banned substances and Jack will now face unbeaten but unknown and unproven Venezuelan Dervin Colina.
In an interview with Boxing Scene, Jack defended the polarising headliner pitting 50-0 great Mayweather against a YouTube celebrity who failed to win both of his pugilistic forays thus far, referencing Ali's infamous hybrid-rules encounter with Japanese professional wrestling legend Antonio Inoki in the process.
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“It’s a new era of boxing,” Jack explained. “It’s entertainment. All of the other champions — Tyson, Muhammad Ali, De La Hoya — everybody did exhibitions. So, why can’t Floyd do it and make a ton of money? So, I ain’t mad at him.
“It brings more eyeballs to boxing,” Jack added. “People mix it up. Like yeah, some of these YouTubers, they’re really corny and stuff. But they bring more eyeballs to boxing and they’re showing the real fighters that social media and marketing is really important.
"So, real fighters shouldn’t be mad that they’re making so much money because they did a great job of promoting themselves outside of boxing.
“I don’t think Jake Paul is gonna fight a real fighter. He’ll keep making money fighting other celebrities. It’s not boxing. It’s YouTube boxing. But I heard even Evander Holyfield called him out.
"All of the boxers and all of the UFC fighters are calling him out, so I guess he’s doing something right, you know?”
Nonetheless, Jack is adamant the main event ends only one way.
“Floyd doesn’t even weigh more than probably 150 at the most,” Jack said. “But there’s still levels in boxing, so I don’t think it’s gonna play a big role.
"I mean, he’s a bigger, younger guy, yeah, but he can’t really fight, so don’t worry about it.”