You can say what you want about YouTube star-turned-boxer Jake Paul – and a lot of people do – but he looks like an impressive fighter when he’s in the ring. He holds a professional licence, and his official fight record says he’s 3-0. You’re free to debate the quality of his three opponents all you like. His first foe was another YouTuber. His second was a former NBA star who had no business being in a boxing ring. His third, Ben Askren, was theoretically a competent fighter who should have given Paul a run for his money. Instead, he showed up for the fight out of shape and got knocked out in a single round. After the fight, Askren labelled his performance “embarrassing.” He was right. It was such a one-sided hammering that some people think the fight was fixed.
Paul’s victory makes it inevitable that he’ll fight again. Most fans of boxing don’t approve of his participation in the sport they love, but promoters don’t care about that because Paul has proven to be a draw. The objective of putting boxing fights together is the same as the objective of playing online slots – to make the best possible combination and win money. Perhaps that’s why Mike Tyson has lent his likeness to an online slots game that appears in places like Rose Slots NZ. There’s a big difference between the two, though, and that’s the fact that promoters get to pick their own combinations. Online slots players get results at random. A combination with Jake Paul in it will probably make money, so promoters and match-makers are happy to keep taking him for a spin.
If we accept that Paul will fight again – which we will – our next question is who he will fight? There are a few candidates for that role. Let’s see if we can work out which of them is the most likely to stand across the ring from him.
If you don’t know Tommy Fury, you’ll recognise his surname. He’s the younger brother of reigning world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. He’s also a professional boxer, albeit not one who appears to be on the same level as his famous sibling. Tommy Fury also has a vaguely similar backstory to Jake Paul, having found fame on a British reality television show and being better-known for that than being a boxer. Tommy Fury’s disadvantage is that he’s nowhere near as well-known in the USA as his brother, so he lacks the star appeal that some of his other potential opponents have. Paul has indicated that he’d be willing to fight Tommy Fury if it happened on the undercard of a Tyson Fury fight, so Tommy might need some help from his big brother to make this money-spinning matchup happen.
Joe Fournier says he’s a billionaire. Joe Fournier also says he’s a legitimate professional boxer. There’s little in the way of evidence to suggest that he’s either. Fournier’s in-ring record says he’s 9-0, but those nine opponents were arguably of lesser merit than the ones Jake Paul has faced thus far. He’s also 38 years old. Frankly, Paul looks like a better boxer than Joe Fournier. For Paul, though, that’s probably part of the appeal of making the fight. A lot of people buy Jake Paul fights because they want to see the brash, cocky YouTube guy get knocked out. So long as Paul can keep fighting and avoiding that fate, he’ll continue to make money. Fournier offers him a great prospect of doing so.
This is the fight that everybody keeps talking about. It’s also the fight that Jake Paul doesn’t really want to take. Floyd Mayweather keeps saying he’s retired, but the general feeling in the boxing world is that he only stays retired until someone makes him the right money offer to change his mind. Jake Paul has the draw to do that. Now well into his 40s, Mayweather is not the fighter he once was. Injuries to his hands forced him to become a defensive boxer many years ago, and he may no longer carry a knockout threat of any kind. He’d still comfortably outclass Jake Paul, though, and it would probably be a very boring thing to watch.
Conor McGregor lost some of his allure by losing to Dustin Poirier on the occasion of his big UFC comeback. That doesn’t prevent him from getting big fights – there will always be people willing to pay to see the “Notorious” one – but it has damaged his standing as an elite-level fighter. He probably doesn’t have many fights left in him at this stage in his career, so he’ll be looking to maximise the paydays he can get from them. Fighting Jake Paul would add several million dollars to his already enormous bank balance. McGregor has stepped into a boxing ring before against Floyd Mayweather, and it didn’t go well. As strange a thing to think about as this is, Paul has more boxing training and experience than McGregor does. That opens the door to the possibility of Paul shocking the world by beating McGregor. The Irishman has more to lose than Jake Paul by taking the fight, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.
There are other names being mentioned by boxing and fighting analysts, one of which is Nate Diaz. People expect to see Paul take a step up in calibre of opponent the next time he gets in the ring. That means fighting someone who has established fighting credentials and boxing experience to go with it. Tommy Fury is the most logical contender in that respect, but he offers the least money and international interest from the list of names mentioned. The most fascinating fight would be Paul against McGregor, but we have a nasty feeling that the one we end up with will be Paul against Fournier. If that happens, expect the same media cycle we’ve just seen to repeat. Everyone will say they have no interest in buying or watching the fight, and then millions of people will then do so anyway.