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I’m an ex-world champ and Jake Paul’s sparring partner… I was sceptical at first but left impressed, says Chad Dawson

FORMER world champion Chad Dawson admitted he was sceptical about sparring Jake Paul at first – but was won over in the ring.

Dawson, who won the light-heavyweight title three times, has spent his second successive training camp with Paul in Puerto Rico.

Former world champion Chad Dawson with Jake Paul

He was first employed before the YouTuber-turned boxer signed to fight switch-hitting heavyweight Hasim Rahman Jr in August.

And Dawson, 40, wanted to find out first-hand if the hype was real about Paul, who is 5-0 with four knockouts.

He told Yahoo Sports: “When I initially got the call to come work with him, I was kind of iffy.

“I wasn’t sure if it was just a publicity stunt, and when I thought about it, I was like, ‘Ah, I don’t know.’

“But I have to admit, I was curious.”

When Paul’s fight with Rahman was cancelled amid a weight row, he instead lined up Anderson Silva for his return, this weekend in Arizona.

Dawson, a southpaw like Silva, was one of the American’s chief sparring partners for this camp and was left convinced.

He said: “I’ve been impressed. I’ve been very impressed, and I was shocked at his work ethic and his general ring knowledge.


“He moves like he’s been boxing for well over two or three years. And he’s thinking in there, too.”

Paul, 25, last boxed in December, knocking out Tyron Woodley, 40, four months after beating the ex-UFC champion on points.

That added to KOs over online rival AnEsonGib, ex-NBA star Nate Robinson, 38, and retired UFC welterweight Ben Askren, also 38.

But Silva, 47, will be his first opponent with a recognised boxing record, with four wins and one loss in the ring.

Paul’s trainer BJ Flores believes it will be their coming out party, having continued to develop in dress rehearsals in the gym.

Flores said: “I’d say he is a prospect and someone to definitely watch out for.

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“Regardless of how long he’s boxing, the one thing you really have to respect that he does have what very few people have, real punching power.

“That’s one thing like I said that no matter who’s been in camp, Chad Dawson, Richard Rivera, who just arguably beat Badou Jack.

“Every single person who has been in camp with him and sparred with him says this kid has real, real power.

“He’s somebody to watch out for regardless of his skill level. And you’re going to see a much improved skill level on [Saturday].

“One thing you have to do with Jake is really be conscious of both hands.

“People have seen the right hand, but the left hand is also strong and has been developing.

“Everybody says the same thing: ‘He can really, really punch.’ “

Jake Paul sparring ahead of his fight with Anderson Silva

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