By Dan Kilbridge | | 5 mins
Who Will Jake Paul Fight Next?
Credit where credit is due – Jake Paul does have a flair for the dramatic.
The YouTube/Instagram star-turned-pro boxer improved to 5-0 with a huge knockout win Dec. 18 over Tyron Woodley in a rematch from their August bout, which Paul won by split decision. He was a -260 favorite at betting sites for the rematch and cashed more lucrative KO props by dropping Woodley with a massive right hand in the sixth round.
It should also be said that Woodley was fighting on just a few week’s notice because Paul’s original – and far more intriguing – opponent had to back out.
Tommy Fury, brother of two-time world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, would have been Paul’s most legitimate opponent to date with a 7-0 record and serious boxing chops. Woodley was an elite mixed martial artist in his prime, but he wasn’t known for his boxing ability in the octagon.
Paul has the luxury of picking each opponent, and with two straight wins over Woodley, sportsbooks and oddsmakers will be watching carefully to see who he picks next. Previous fights against the likes of fellow social media stars, former NBA point guard Nate Robinson and former UFC fighter Ben Askren have drawn strong betting interest.
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Paul Can Pick & Choose Opponents
These fights are spectacles that bring a wide range of audience not limited to combat sports enthusiasts. The boxing betting interest will only continue to grow assuming Paul can keep his record clean. That’s much easier for someone like Paul who can hand-pick his opponents and largely dictate terms.
With that in mind, Paul is clearly serious about his training and has performed better than many expected regardless of competition. He has now finished four of five wins, three of them against opponents with serious combat experience – albeit not specific to boxing.
There’s serious money to be made here and a handful of potential future opponents that could work from both a matchup and publicity perspective.
Paul called out current UFC stars Jorge Mosvidal, Nate Diaz and Welterweight champion Kamara Usman after the knockout win over Woodley. It should be noted that Paul fights around 20 pounds heavier than those three and it would probably take an unfathomable payday to get one of those guys in the ring while they still have serious UFC careers going.
But the callouts will keep his alleged “feud” with UFC’s head man Dana White alive and perhaps open the door for another aging MMA star down the road.
While the question used to be whether or not Paul actually knew how to fight, the more pressing question now becomes who he will fight next.
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Who Will Be Jake Paul’s Next Boxing Opponent?
Fury represents an interesting matchup that would also bring a different fanbase on board. The 22-year-old is 7-0 with four KOs and recently took time off to appear on the reality TV show “Love Island.”
Fury said he had to pull out of their scheduled Dec. 18 fight due to a rib injury and Paul immediately responded with the typical taunts and insults. Assuming he didn’t miss his only chance, there’s now plenty of drama to drum up interest and it would be interesting to see Paul test his skills against a more serious boxer that’s actually close to his age. We wouldn’t be surprised to see this fight go down in 2022 – assuming Paul is serious about eventually taking real fights.
A Paul-McGregor fight somehow seems both ridiculous and inevitable. Paul has already challenged McGregor publicly and offered $50 million for a potential bout. Calling out the biggest superstar in MMA history is one way to ensure clout, and Paul has already taken on two former UFC fighters.
McGregor is coming off back-to-back losses to Dustin Poirier and has just one victory since 2016 – a one-minute knockout win against an overmatched Donald Cerrone in January 2020. There is no doubting his popularity in terms of UFC betting.
The Irishman has been in the space before, taking on Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2017 for one of the most hyped boxing matches of all time. Mayweather scored a 10th-round TKO to improve to 50-0, but McGregor still reportedly made roughly $100 million for the fight.
A Paul-McGregor matchup makes tons of sense from a publicity standpoint, but it might make more sense for Paul to wait a few years. McGregor held his own in the early rounds against Mayweather and is still one of the best pure strikers in the UFC.
Jake’s brother, Logan, is also a well-known YouTube star and boxing hopeful. So far, he is 0-1 as a professional, but he did go eight rounds with Mayweather during an unscored exhibition in June. There have also been rumblings about another potential fight with Mike Tyson in the works.
Jake is clearly the more naturally gifted boxer, but both brothers are showmen and would take pre-fight hype to unfathomable levels in a coordinated effort. Logan has a massive fanbase as well and would be a good fallback plan for Jake at some point if he discovers he’s not cut out for the next tier of competition. Jake Paul vs Logan Paul would certainly draw eyeballs.
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Who is Jake Paul?
Paul rose to fame alongside brother Logan Paul, with the then-teenage duo growing a massive YouTube audience by posting videos of juvenile hijinks and tomfoolery. They’ve dabbled in acting, WWE appearances and other venues as well, but an amateur boxing career for Jake that begin with fights against fellow social media influencers has blossomed into big PPV cards that at times blur the lines between sport and entertainment – likely by design.
Logan Paul has also entered the ring, losing to a British YouTube star/rapper known as “KSI” in his only professional in 2019. He also went eight rounds with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in an unscored exhibition back in June.
Jake Paul is the more promising boxer and began his pro career with KO victories over British YouTuber “AnEsonGib,” former NBA point guard Nate Robinson and former UFC fighter Ben Askren. He improved to 5-0 with the rematch win over Woodley and clearly takes training seriously. That goes a long way for someone with unlimited resources in their early 20s.