Andre August was announced as Jake Paul’s opponent for Dec. 15 last month; he will be the first professional boxer Paul has fought after having previously faced mostly MMA fighters and former NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion Nate Robinson.
Paul is used to the news cycle. He’s simply been one of the most famous people on the planet for close to a decade now, making his name on the now-defunct app Vine. He then turned into a YouTuber, then a Disney star, and now is a professional boxer who boasts more than 25 million followers on Instagram.
For August, this is a whole new world. He has just a fraction of Paul’s following on IG, with fewer than 17,000 followers.
But now, practically overnight, he’s in the most publicized fight not only of his career, but a fight that will likely be one of the most-viewed this year.
Admittedly, it’s a bit of a culture shock.
“As far as with the interviews and the media stuff and all that, dealing with all those different types of things, it’s kind of a juggle,” August, 35, told Fox News Digital in a recent interview.
At the end of the day, though, it’s all business.
“Other than that, just staying prepared as usual,” he said.
One would be hard-pressed to find much hate for August in his old social media posts. It’s a different story now, with numerous Paul fans in his mentions and comments.
But August is handling the “Twitter fingers” like any pro should.
“I don’t really pay them no mind because I don’t really be seeing it. I just skip past it,” he said.
Words never hurt August, a Beaumont, Texas, native who is “from the streets.”
“I’m used to people doing a lot of talking and stuff. … We street-fighting and stuff,” the muscular August said. “So, people saying this and saying that, but when they come face-to-face, it’s a different story. It’s all good.”
Paul’s not afraid of the limelight or some trash talk, but August says that’s “not my style.”
“I’m a mellow-type guy, man,” August said of his potential trash-talking plans (or lack thereof) in the days leading up to the fight. “I’m 35, I don’t want to go in that yelling and lip-talking, man. I’m not like that.”
That’s not just lip service, either. It’s common to find plenty of Paul haters. But August is not one of them.
“Nothing but respect for him, I tip my hat to him,” August said, regarding the popularity Paul has given to the sport (although plenty would argue for the wrong reasons).
“Appreciate the opportunity, and I’ve seen what he’s done for boxing. It’s all good; love and respect.”
August has 12 professional fights under his belt. He’s won 10 of them. But if you’re reading this, you likely have never heard of him.
So, going from the underground to the bright lights is truly a blessing for August.
“In the state of Texas, [getting my name out there has] been a breeze,” August said. “But across the world, this right here has brought all the attention. So, it’s very important for me to take this fight and show my skills and my abilities to [show] what I can do.”
“It’s exciting, man. Just show people what the hard work looks like, and the struggle, how we came from the struggle to where we’re at now.”
“It’s kind of a struggle being at camp and away from my family. That’s going to bring more of the ambition for me to the ring. It kind of irks my nerves that I have to do it for my family. Just really excited for the fight and making it happen and getting it out of the way, to be honest.”
Paul-August kicks off this Friday at the Caribe Royale in Orlando.