Who is Jake Paul, the YouTuber-turned-boxer taking on Tommy Fury?

Jake Paul's fight against Tommy Fury is expected to draw an audience of millions when it finally goes ahead on Sunday. 

Paul falls into the camp of influencers straddling martial arts and social media - also among them are his brother Logan Paul and rapper KSI, the duo behind the viral energy drink Prime.

But how did the internet star make a name for himself and go from viral videos to a boxing career?

Jake Paul's social media stardom

Paul, 26, was born in Ohio and first made a name for himself as a teenager on the now-defunct video sharing platform Vine.

By the time Vine shut down in early 2017, he had 5.3 million followers and nearly 2 billion video plays.

The Paul brothers made prank and stunt videos which they also posted on YouTube.

Jake Paul spun his YouTube success into Team 10, an “entertainment collective” centred around a mansion where budding creators lived and made content together.

However, the project became mired in controversy, with residents accusing Paul of being exploited for clicks.

Courting controversy

Jake Paul landed a lead role on Disney Channel’s Bizaardvark, but left mid-way through the second season after local TV station KTLA 5 reported on his neighbour’s complaints about him.

They said the noise and relentless stunts had turned the street into a “living hell” and they were reportedly considering a lawsuit, although this was not filed.

Paul was investigated after videos showed him among mall looters during the height of protests after George Floyd’s death.

The FBI raided his home but the charges were dropped.

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In 2021, TikTok star Justine Paradise alleged Jake Paul sexually assaulted her in 2019, a claim he denies.

She claimed he forced her to perform oral sex on him and touched her without consent. Paul said the allegations were "100% false".

In 2020 he called COVID a “hoax” and called for the end of lockdown.

Boxing career

Nicknamed The Problem Child, Paul is six fights into his career as a professional boxer.

He won all six of those fights and four were knockout wins.

Paul topped the first official influencer boxing chart, with the rankings reflecting the recent explosion in the popularity of celebrity boxing among YouTubers and social media stars.

Before going pro, Paul went up against fellow YouTuber Deji, younger brother of rapper and influencer KSI, in an amateur fight in 2018.

The pair fought on the undercard of their brothers’ fight.

Paul will face Tommy Fury on Sunday 26 February in Saudi Arabia, in a grudge match that has been twice delayed - once when Fury pulled out due to illness and once due to visa issues.

Fury has declared he will end Paul’s professional boxing career with the fight, promising he is in for a “rude awakening”.

Meanwhile, Paul’s coach has said he will be "demolishing" Fury when they box on Sunday.

A crusader for UFC pay

Despite being a boxer rather than UFC fighter, Paul is outspoken about what UFC pays its fighters.

Paul has called for UFC fighters to be paid $50,000 per fight - they currently get $12,000 - as well as 50% of UFC’s profits and long-term healthcare.

He has repeatedly publicly called out UFC boss Dana White, who told GQ in an interview “these guys get paid what they're supposed to get paid”, adding "If you don't like it … Go start your own MMA organisation”.