Recently, Jake Paul and Kamaru Usman were engaged in a public war of words, with part of their exchange including the YouTuber issuing a challenge to the UFC’s welterweight champion to box him. Usman informed Paul that he does not engage in “play-fighting,” and their exchange escalated after Paul posted a picture of Usman and his daughter at Disney World, with Usman issuing a warning to Paul that went beyond any sporting competition.
Things took an interesting turn earlier this week, though, when Paul claimed Usman’s manager was in talks with the UFC, thus implying that a fight between him and Usman was in the works. Many people brushed aside Paul’s comments as meritless and attention-seeking, not to mention implausible because UFC President Dana White has made it clear that he has no desire to ever do business with the Paul Brothers. However, after the following comments from Kamaru Usman in a recent appearance on ESPN’s Ahora o Nunca, Paul’s remarks suddenly don’t seem so far-fetched.
“We thought this YouTube fighter running his mouth now, saying that he wants to box, he wants to test himself…I think that’s a guy that I could go out and knock out really quickly and make it home for dinner,” Usman said. “So I think that’s also an interesting one as well.”
When comparing Paul to the current options available for him at welterweight, Usman seemed to be leaning more towards the Paul side until a welterweight contender “breaks through.” When asked why Usman would even lower himself to compete against an outsider like Jake Paul, Usman claims it’s not about having an interest in the fight but more so about being a purveyor of justice.
“I don’t necessarily care for the fight. I don’t care for it. I don’t really entertain it, honestly,” Usman said. “But there’s a lot of work that I’ve put into my sport to get to the position that I’m in. And then when you see these guys come in and just, ‘Oh, I wanna challenge him. I want to challenge that guy, that guy, it’s almost disrespectful. It’s almost disrespectful to the point where, like I said earlier, I’m also the judge. And sometimes you might want to go out and send them a clear message and give them a harsh punishment.”
So what would be needed to turn this hypothetical into a reality? Usman would give a rough estimate on how much it would take for him to step into the boxing ring against Paul.
“I think the check would have to have eight zeroes in it,” Usman said. “If there’s eight zeroes in front of the check, then for sure, we’ll consider it. For sure.”