If any haters are still out there doubting Jake Paul ... boxing champ Lawrence Okolie clearly believes they need to drop that opinion ASAP -- praising the guy as the real deal in the ring following a sparring sesh with the former YouTuber on Wednesday.
Okolie and Paul traded blows at PrettyLittleThing founder Umar Kamani's Kamani Club in Dubai ... getting in work so intensely, they were drenched in sweat.
And, afterward, Okolie said Paul is no joke with the gloves.
"He's better than most boxers," the WBO cruiserweight world champ said, according to boxing reporter Michael Benson. "People just hate because of his influencer background."
An Igbo Man, Lawrence Okolie @Lawrence_tko is the New WBO World Cruiserweight Champion.
Of course, many boxing fans have discredited Paul, despite his 6-0 record ... simply because none of his victories have come against actual boxers.
Paul, though, has tried to fight real boxers in the past few months ... setting up matches with both Tommy Fury and Hasim Rahman Jr. But, both bouts fell through before the first-round bell could sound.