YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul has named who “everybody” wants to see him face, but it’s not the man he believes would create the “biggest” spectacle.
Paul, who initially rose to fame through online videos and as a Disney star, has been carving an unlikely combat sports career in recent years.
Since venturing into the sport with victories over fellow Internet personality AnEsonGib and former basketball player Nate Robinson, “The Problem Child” has begun to earn more respect from the MMA and boxing communities as his level of competition has increased.
While not much was made of his knockout win against Ben Askren, a pair of victories, one by way of a brutal KO, over former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley certainly made many take notice. And next, the polarizing 25-year-old is set for his toughest test to date.
On October 29, Paul will headline a Showtime pay-per-view against former UFC middleweight titleholder Anderson Silva, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest strikers in MMA history.
While Paul has long left the door open to sharing the ring with Silva, who has been having his own success in the ring as of late, he’d hoped to add the name of an active professional to his record first.
And although that desire still appeared to be the case for down the line following failed matchups with Tommy Fury and Hasim Rahman Jr., Paul’s latest assessment of possible future foes includes another former UFC champion, two retired pugilists, and one fellow YouTuber-turned-boxer.
Paul: People Want To See Me Settle A Grudge Over McGregor Fight
During a recent interview with SunSport, Paul discussed matchups with three names, mentions of whom have long been synonymous with his presence inside the squared circle — former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor, undefeated boxing great Floyd Mayweather, and former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson.
Unsurprisingly, “The Problem Child” believes the buildup and back and forth would make a bout against the “Notorious” Irishman the biggest available to him.
“I think the biggest fight there is McGregor. Just because the press conferences would be off the charts. And from a boxing perspective, it’s a very high-level bout,” Paul said. “I don’t think Floyd would fight me in an actual bout, which would decrease interest. Mike Tyson is older. It’s obviously still huge, but that’s why I think McGregor is the biggest name there, for sure.”
Despite that, Paul doesn’t see MMA’s biggest superstar as the opponent fans actually want to see him share the ring with. He believes that title is held by UK YouTuber, rapper, and boxer KSI.
“I think the KSI story needs an ending. It just keeps continuing and it’s right there,” Paul said. “And that’s the one that everybody wants. I would also avenge my brother’s loss.”
KSI returned to the ring in August, defeating both music artist Swarmz and pro-boxer Luis Alcaraz Pineda in one night at The O2 in London. Those contests came after Alex Wassabi pulled out weeks before. That withdrawal led to Paul offering to fight the Brit for free.
As well as their recent back and forth, the pairing has more ready-built history. In 2019, KSI outpointed Jake’s brother, Logan Paul, in his professional debut. The Los Angeles-held bout followed the pair’s amateur match a year prior, which was ruled a draw.
And as well as Jake Paul having the chance to avenge his brother’s loss, KSI will also have the opportunity to do the same if the fight comes to fruition. In 2018, “The Problem Child” defeated the Englishman’s brother, Deji Olatunji, via TKO in an amateur contest.
Do you agree with Jake Paul? Is a fight with KSI the matchup “everybody” wants to see?