Jake Paul has claimed that he is suffering from the early signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in a press conference ahead of his fight with Ben Askren.
YouTube celebrity Paul and former UFC fighter Askren - who has been preparing with coach Freddie Roach - will fight on Saturday April 17 in a pay-per-view event, in what is Askren’s first professional boxing bout and Paul’s third.
The claim pushes the bounds of credibility, given there appear to be no methods to make such an early diagnosis short of opening up somebody’s brain, which typically occurs post-mortem.
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a degenerative brain condition that has been cited in the deaths of boxers, wrestlers, NFL players and others who have suffered repeated brain trauma.
“You know, it’s a dangerous sport. And that’s why, when people question my dedication to it, it’s like, I’m showing up every single day,” Paul said.
“I’m putting my mental health on the line, my brain is on the line … I’ve gone and gotten brain scans and have early signs of CTE.
“But, I love this sport and wouldn’t trade it for anything else. And 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.”
The 24-year-old then suggested he was on course to better Floyd Mayweather’s career.
"I'm in my third pro fight, I'm fighting eight rounds, headlining one of the biggest pay-per-views that could happen this decade," Paul said. "If you look at Floyd Mayweather, his third fight was six rounds, he got paid $7,000 and I don't think anyone in this room probably watched it."