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Meet Jake Paul’s prodigy Ashton Sylve, boxing’s ‘next star’ who turned pro while at SCHOOL and now has 100 per cent KOs

BOXING prospect Ashton Sylve juggled the classroom with the school of hard knocks after turning professional at just 16. 

But after eight wins, all knockouts and two more years under his belt, the young American is emerging as one of the hottest prospects in the game. 

Ashton Sylve with Jake Paul
Ashton Sylve fights on Jake Paul’s undercard

So much so that he had Jake Paul and Floyd Mayweather battling it out to secure his signature after turning 18. 

But it was Paul who got one over on unbeaten boxing icon Mayweather, signing Sylve to his Most Valuable Promotions. 

And his journey continues over the weekend with a prime time co-headliner spot against Braulio Rodriguez, 34, of the Dominican Republic on the YouTuber-turned boxer’s fight with Anderson Silva. 

Paul told SunSport: ”I’m excited, this is the first time he’s going to be on a big stage.

“The sky is the limit as he’s going to be the next star out of Most Valuable Promotions.” 

If Paul is still learning on the job as a 5-0 novice, Sylve could feel like a young veteran, having had his first amateur bout at the age of eight. 

He would go on to have over 120 contests in the unpaid ranks, becoming a 10x national champ, with two international honours to his name. 

An Olympic dream could have also been realised – had the wait for the next Games not been so long. 

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Sylve said: “After all the experience I had fighting overseas at different tournaments, I started to feel that I was soon-to-be ready to turn pro. 

“I would’ve stayed in the amateurs if the Olympics were sooner, but I think it was 2024 by the time I could qualify for the Olympics. 

“But looking at my future, it was just too long to be waiting around in the amateurs, so that’s why I decided to turn pro at 16.” 

Like many before him, Sylve took his talents to Mexico after turning pro at 16. 

But it was not facing fully grown men which gave him his biggest fight, rather finding a happy medium between boxing and academics. 

Sylve said: I was just still in school. That was the only thing I had to balance. 

“I had to balance and figure out my schedule, the training time, losing weight was always a part of it and having another energy to also do my school work. 

“That was the big difference but other than that, I actually prefer the professional side to the amateurs.” 

Asthon Sylve had his first amateur bout at eight
He went on to have over 120 amateur bouts

After Sylve’s sixth fight, Paul and several others began to take notice of the promising super-featherweight. 

He was due to feature on Paul’s undercard the night the social media sensation first beat ex-UFC champion Tyron Woodley, 40. 

But when the event was moved to Ohio, Sylve, 17 at the time, was ruled out due to the commission’s age restrictions. 

He said: “I had multiple offers, pretty much everyone was coming after me.

“We were still seeing what the best option was and who would be the best fit for me.

“I was supposed to fight on Jake’s undercard I think in Texas but then they switched the venue to Ohio, so with the regulation and my age it just didn’t pan out. 

“So I wasn’t able to fight on his card but I think ever since then he had his eyes on me, even before that.” 

Ashton Sylve training for his next fight
Ashton Sylve is 8-0 all by KO
The American wants to win titles in three weights

Sylve’s dad would later receive a call from Paul’s manager and adviser Nakisa Bidarian, and soon after a deal was struck between the two. 

Paul said: “I had actually seen Ashton years ago, sparring. This kid H20 kept popping up on YouTube, even in my recommended he would pop up. 

“So I’ve always known who he was, seen him hanging around mutual friends and once we started MVP, we want to help women and push them forward, which is why we signed Amanda Serrano. 

“And then we wanted to help young prospects and he was the No1 young prospect that everyone was trying to sign. 

“Mayweather tried to sign him, and he had already a built in social media following at 18-years-old, perfect record, all KOs. 

“It just made sense to sign him.” 

Amanda Serrano, Ashton Sylve and Jake Paul
Jake Paul training with Ashton Sylve in Puerto Rico

Sylve had his eyes on Wilfred Benitez’s record of youngest world champ of all time, which the Puerto Rican achieved at 17, but had moved on to other goals. 

He said: “When I was 16 or 17, I wanted to be the youngest champion ever. But that didn’t pan out. By the time I looked it up, my birthday was pretty much past it. 

“But I’ve always dreamed of being a three-weight world champion, so hopefully in the next year or two. I’ll be 19 or 20.” 

For all of Sylve’s aspirations and plaudits from the loudest of mouths, none of it will mean anything unless he lets his fighting do the talking. 

And he plans to continue doing so in the biggest fight of his career in Arizona, the kind of occasion he always envisioned. 

Sylve said: “I’m grateful for the opportunity, this is kind of like a dream come true, something I always envisioned. 

“In my ninth fight being a co-main event in a pay-per-view, I don’t think too many other people have done that. 

“It’s something I think is incredible and it’s something I’ve always been reaching for.” 

Ashton Sylve during an open workout

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