Anthony Taylor has been sparring with Jake Paul as the YouTuber prepares for his clash with Tyron Woodley, and Taylor believes Paul is rapidly improving.
The fight is set to go ahead this Sunday as the 24-year-old internet celebrity is aiming to make it four wins in four when he faces his second ex-UFC fighter.
Speaking to the Betway Insider US blog, Taylor said: "Jake has improved. You can see his improvements from his first fight with Gib through to Nate Robinson and Ben Askren, kind of cleaning up some of the sloppiness. He’s kind of like A.J McKee.”
- UFC 266: Alexander Volkanovski makes it clear he's not a fan of Brian Ortega
- Dave Coldwell sings praises of Oleksandr Usyk but makes Anthony Joshua favourite for their title fight
- Tony Bellew expects Anthony Joshua to overcome Oleksandr Usyk test
- Big Fight AJ: 5 times Anthony Joshua produced the goods beneath the bright lights
“The way that A.J shows something different every fight, he’s developing every fight,” he continued.
“Jake’s improved every camp; he’s developing power, he’s developed speed in his punches, great footwork, inside boxing. He’s becoming a complete boxer in his world. I’m not saying he’s going to fight Canelo or he’s going to fight a top five boxer, but he looks great, prepared and ready to go."
Taylor - who faces Tommy Fury on the undercard - explained the high standards set by trainer BJ Flores.
"BJ [Flores] likes Jake to spar with the best of the best, he’s bringing in boxers who are undefeated,” he began.
“He’s bringing Jean Pascal, boxers with 20 or 30 fights and he’s telling them: ‘go to work’ and ‘don’t go easy on Jake ’ - that’s how we roll with TeamPaul. Jake’s just not fighting MMA fighters and beating them up. He’s fighting real boxers and he’s giving them a hard time. Because a lot of boxers come in here the first day and say: ‘he ain’t no fighter’ and then they spar him and then they say: ‘I didn’t know he was that good’.
“Jake is more focused than anything. He knows Tyrone is the toughest opponent to date and he’s locked in focused; he looks amazing, his dieting is on point, his cardio is on point and he’s getting better and polishing his skills. BJ ain’t bringing in no scrubs, he’s bringing in pro fighters. Plus he’s got J’Leon Love here who is always sparring Jake. Love’s a world level athlete and he’s not taking it easy on Jake. He’s going hard and I don’t see Tyrone getting this type of work. “
"Jake’s a bully, he bullies you. He comes forward, very aggressive. He will overwhelm you if he has to. Luckily I'm used to training with guys as tall as he is. Jake is very strong, very quick - surprisingly for a guy who is a YouTuber turned boxer - the guy is a natural athlete. Jake overall is an aggressive guy in the ring."He has a great heart, he has a hell of a chin, he has determination and a great team behind him. BJ’s been doing a hell of a job with Jake and you're going to see a whole new Jake and you’re going to see this kid is for real. Jake does well defensively, remember he’s tall and long, you’re not going to let yourself get hammered; pop your jab, use your distance. Jakes did a lot of work with his footwork to get him out of dangerous positions."