India’s Goyat first int’l signee for Jake Paul’s MVP


A top Indian boxer waged a viral social media campaign to land a fight against Jake Paul for months. Now, the two are joining forces.

Paul, the YouTuber-turned-boxer, has signed Neeraj Goyat to his boxing promotional company, Most Valuable Promotions, officials told ESPN on Friday.

Goyat, 32, is a former WBC Asian welterweight champion, the first Indian fighter to make the WBC world rankings and one of the best boxers in the country. He has nearly 1 million followers on Instagram and has appeared on Indian television and in Bollywood films.

“I’m truly honored to be the newest member of the Most Valuable Promotions family,” Goyat said in a statement. “MVP has been making waves in the boxing world, particularly with its commitment to showcasing and uplifting women in the sport since 2021. In just 2½ years, MVP has organized some of the world’s most significant boxing events, and I’m excited to work with MVP to elevate the status of professional boxing in India and bring attention to boxers from India globally.”

MVP’s first international signee, Goyat is expected to make his debut for the promotion this summer. MVP co-founder Nakisa Bidarian said Goyat will “be a key part of a global MVP event” later this year and discussions have started with possible opponents.

“His viral callouts of Jake Paul certainly got our attention, and we’re honored to welcome Neeraj into our family of exceptional athletes,” Bidarian said in a statement. “The influence of both Indian fighters and the Indian boxing fan base has been undervalued on the global stage, and we eagerly anticipate shining a worldwide spotlight on one of India’s premier boxers.”

A pro boxer since 2011, Goyat (18-4, 8 KOs) has won nine of his last 10 fights, with the lone loss coming against Jose Zepeda in March 2023. He flew to Puerto Rico this week and posted a video of him and Paul facing off that has nearly 2 million likes on Instagram.

Paul fights Saturday against Ryan Bourland in San Juan. MVP’s Amanda Serrano, one of the top women’s boxers in the world, faces Nina Meinke in Serrano’s Puerto Rico homecoming.

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