It’s crazy to think Zach Hirsh is only 20 years old and already accomplishing what most people could only dream of in a lifetime. Boasting 1.8 million followers on Instagram alone, Zach might be one of the youngest, most accurate sports analysts and handicappers out there.
Zach explains, “A handicapper is someone who predicts games, that’s how I got my start. I’m also a Web3, Gen Z, thought leader, and now content creator and chief evangelist.”
Having the golden opportunity to shadow Jake Paul in his boxing endeavors, Zach was present with Jake Paul in Phoenix the entire week leading up to his most recent fight against Silva. Not only is he able to cover and document Jake’s fights, but he’s also been able to foster a genuine friendship that goes far beyond social media.
Zach’s recent Instagram post sums it all up: “From the backyard to the biggest star in boxing! Last night was the byproduct of three and a half years of hardwork! Have loved being there for the whole journey. The Problem Child @jakepaul is now the top draw in all of combat sports!”
Additionally, Zach Hirsch has his own sports podcast with Jadakiss on Worldstar, someone he definitely grew up listening to.
AllHipHop spoke with Zach Hirsch in downtown Los Angeles to discuss his background, biggest influences, how he got tapped in with Jake Paul and Jadakiss, goals, and more!
AllHipHop: Being from Florida, what was that like growing up?
Zach Hirsch: So I live in Fort Lauderdale now. I’m from Boca, Delray area, a little bit north, but it was good growing up. Only good things to say. I still live there now, I don’t think I’ll live anywhere else so… Boca/Delray is a niche community. If you watch Seinfeld, that’s where Jerry’s parents move. That’s where all the old Jewish people live, so it was good growing up.
AllHipHop: Who were you influenced by as a kid?
Zach Hirsch: My biggest influence is anything in sports. Starting when I was very young, I’d wake up and watch SportsCenter for a few hours. Try to digest everything I could, memorize all the rankings and statistics and recite them to everyone I could. Same thing with video games as well. Madden, 2K, whatever I could get my hands on. When I got into broadcasting and that type of thing. I’d say my biggest inspiration has been Cael Sonnen.
AllHipHop: Who’s that?
Zach Hirsch: He was a former MMA fighter, UFC fighter, but he’s also a commentator and makes videos. The way he speaks, he speaks fast like I do. He’s able to make it so it’s understandable and easy to digest, so that was a big inspiration for me.
AllHipHop: Did you play sports?
Zach Hirsch: Yeah, I always played sports. But I’m six feet tall and white, so wasn’t gonna play college or anything. But did my best, played football and basketball growing up. Now I box still, so that’s fun.
AllHipHop: How did you get such a big following on social media?
Zach Hirsch: Yeah, it was kind of an accident. [chuckles] My senior year, my school wanted me to make a sports blog, which I obliged and I made ipickwins.com. The Instagram went with it. I made videos, I didn’t think it’d go anywhere. I’d do my picks and get a portfolio before I went to college for sports management. Milton, who’s Logan’s boxing coach, told me I should come out and support for his camp against KSI. I started getting cool with Jake and Logan and them, creating content. That’s where it began, the influencer side of things.
AllHipHop: What is your relationship with Jake Paul?
Zach Hirsch: It started right then and we’ve been cool ever since. That was before he ever had a pro fight, when he was boxing in Logan’s backyard, so the journey’s been really big. Right now he’s 6-0, and back then he’s 0-0. I’m a part of his camps. I’ve been part of them from Miami to now Puerto Rico, so it’s been a lot of fun.
AllHipHop: What would you say was the best memory so far?
Zach Hirsch: Let’s say this past Saturday when he beat Anderson da Silva. It was a lot different than all of the other ones, right? This wasn’t a gimmick fight. It wasn’t in my mind a fight where I was 100% supremely confident we were gonna go in there and bulldoze this guy like the other ones. This was a legend in the sport and a guy with a lot of boxing experience, who’s bigger and taller than Jake as well. It was a tall task and it was a lot of fun to see Jake’s full skills on display there.
AllHipHop: Do you prep before each fight, if you’re gonna commentate?
Zach Hirsch: Yeah, I really talk a lot and hang out a lot with BJ Flores, who’s Jake’s head trainer. Danny Smith as well, who’s a co-trainer with BJ. Jacob Chavez, J’Leon Love. I break down tape and I’m a part of the camp. I help bring in sparring partners, all that type of stuff.
AllHipHop: How did you meet and end up hosting your podcast with Jadakiss?
Zach Hirsch: Jada’s my partner now, in everything we do from content creation to business to tech. There’s also friendship indebted in that. I linked up with Jada after the VERZUZ battle. I was working with Triller and I did a prediction with BetMGM. They sponsored it. Kiss caught wind of that. One of my guys went up to the block, they were just chillin’. Fetty Wap was there, Jadakiss, everyone.
They got me on the phone with Jada and he said, “oh, we should do a sports show.” I was like what? Jadakiss wants to do a sport show? At first, I thought it was too surreal to even be possible. We linked it up and I did a little interview with him for ipickwins, when he got down to Miami. That went well, I showed it to my guy Danny at Worldstar. We got the deal done, and then the podcast started.
AllHipHop: Talk about your Web3 platform Mozverse, and the collaboration with Scott Storch.
Zach Hirsch: Mozverse has been in the works for a few years now. At first, it was just gonna be a run of the mill, metaverse platform. I’ve always been passionate about the metaverse since I’ve watched Ready Player One, read the book Snow Crash, and all that type of stuff.
Later on, I went to Logan Paul’s house to interview him and he mentioned to me that I needed to get into NFTs. That was the future, that’s how I was gonna make money. I called my partner Danny, we started to do NFT marketplaces and a lot of dope stuff in that field. Now, we’re linked up and partnered with Scott Storch. We collaborate with him on the entertainment side of things, he’s been able to do some great things as well. I also got to speak with Jadakiss at a crypto convention, that was a lot of fun. We’ve been able to do a lot of dope things with short amount of time.
AllHipHop: Did you listen to Jadakiss? Like you’re so young.
Zach Hirsch: Yeah yeah yeah. My dad had me on everything from Eazy-E who’s on this shirt. Biggie, The Lox, Kiss, Ma$e… Tone Loc. Run-DMC. Anything you can think of old school rap, I was on growing up. For sure.
AllHipHop: Talk about being only 20 and doing all this? Did you ever think you’d be here?
Zach Hirsch: Yeah, it’s become real. As time goes on, and definitely on the sports and media side of things. I knew I’d get here and I know I’m gonna continue to ascend and do even better things. In my mind, I’m gonna have my own show on a major cable network. Probably with Kiss. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
AllHipHop: Do you have any goals?
Zach Hirsch: A goal I have is to be a color commentator for one of the major boxing networks. That’s really important to me, then from there branch out to MMA and football and basketball. To continue to make myself more mainstream in the sports media space, and to make Mozverse as big as I think it can be, which is one of the biggest companies in the world.
AllHipHop: Who’s been your favorite podcast guest?
Zach Hirsch: That’s a good one. My favorite podcast guest has been Brandon Marshall. He gave a lot of really deep answers that required a lot of thought. We dove into deeper topics than just sports. We talked about mental health and a lot of really important stuff that I think people can relate to. That episode shows the layers and the depth that we’re able to cover on the show, with my knowledge and Kiss’s knowledge. It was really dope.