Jake Paul's a big deal in boxing, and some people don't like it ... but don't count legendary boxer Andre Ward among that group 'cause the multiple-time former world champion tells us he's a fan of The Problem Child driving new fans to the sport!
"I don't hate on it," Ward told Babcock on the "TMZ Sports" TV show (airs nightly on FS1) this week ... of Paul's transition from YouTuber to boxing star.
"The crossover stuff like what Jake Paul, Logan [Paul]is doing, [Francis] Ngannou just did, I respect it. That takes a lot of courage, takes a lot of heart."
Ward's book isn't just about boxing ... Son of God talks about everything from his difficult childhood to the role that faith and religion have played in his life, and how it's guided to him incredible heights -- including 5 world titles and an Olympic gold medal.
"This book takes you deep into my mind, into my life, into my upbringing [and] how I go to the point that I'm at today."