Jake Paul cleared to fight despite saying he had CTE
Jake Paul was cleared to eliminate Ben Askren on Friday by a physician for the Georgia Athletic Commission, in spite of his remarks Thursday at a press conference to promote Saturday’s battle at Mercedes Benz Arena in Atlanta that he has early indications of persistent terrible encephalopathy (CTE).
Matt Woodruff, the executive director of the George Commission, informed Yahoo Sports by telephone that the commission’s medical professional had actually taken a look at Paul and cleared him to eliminate.
Paul, a social networks influencer with a reach in excess of 40 million, spoke at Thursday’s press conference about the danger he is taking.
“It’s a dangerous sport,” Paul stated. “That’s why, when people question my dedication to it, it’s like, I’m showing up every single day. I’m putting my mental health on the line. My brain is on the line. Like you said, I’ve gone and gotten brain scans and have early signs of CTE.
“I like this sport and would not trade it for anything else. And I’m a fighter, and individuals will see that. Whether it seeks Saturday night or whether it’s a year from now, they will see that I’m a fighter.”
A spokesperson for Triller denied that Paul has CTE and said he had an MRI that was clear. Woodruff wouldn’t confirm specifically that Paul had a clear MRI, only that a commission doctor had determined he was competent to fight Askren, a former UFC star who is making his pro boxing debut.
Currently there is no way to diagnose CTE while a person is alive. CTE can only be definitively diagnosed post mortem.
Woodruff said he was busy regulating four shows and was unaware of Paul’s comments. Paul released a tweet on Friday retracting the claim.
“Our medical professional accepted his physical today, so we did clear him based upon the physical today,” Woodruff told Yahoo Sports. Asked specifically if the Georgia doctors saw a clear MRI, Woodruff said, “I do not understand the date, however we got medicals from California. They were evaluated and based upon that evaluation, our medical professional cleared him to eliminate.”
Georgia’s rules for boxing have a paragraph that deals with head injury.
Paragraph 7 (a) states, The commission will not issue a professional boxer’s license to any person when the commission has reason to believe that such person has previously been diagnosed with or has suffered sub-dural hematoma or any level of intra-cerebral hemorrhage. In subsection 1, it puts the onus on the fighter by adding, “Each fighter understands or need to understand his/her case history and remains in a much better position to safeguard themselves versus irreversible mental retardation than the examining commission or analyzing doctor. It is the outright responsibility of any fighter who has actually formerly suffered any head injury as explained in subparagraph 7(a) above to report that injury to the doctor carrying out the pre-fight physical.”
The Triller spokesperson deemed Paul’s claim of CTE “theatrics” and stated he was attempting to make himself appear difficult, by demonstrating how difficult he is training.
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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.