It’s clear that Jake Paul can talk to the talk, but he’s proving that he can walk the walk as his boxing career progresses.
After a slow start to his career that saw him take on fellow YouTubers and a former NBA player in Nate Robinson, things escalated quickly for Paul in 2021.
In his last three fights, Paul managed to take down a former UFC champion in Tyron Woodley twice in the span of four months, and he added a win over former MMA star Ben Askren in April.
His away-from-the-ring antics have rubbed some boxing fans the wrong way, but it’s hard to argue with the attention and money that the YouTube star brings to the sport.
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Fans either love to watch what Paul brings to the table, or they tune in with hopes of seeing a nasty knockout that ends his star-studded boxing career.
Either way, his fights are becoming must-see television.
So, as Paul looks to add to his resume and increase his stardom, who should he be fighting next?
Paul called out UFC stars Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz in the moments after his second win over Tyron Woodley, looking to capitalize on the fact that two of the UFC’s most popular names were in attendance for one of his fights.
“Just get out of your contract with Daddy Dana [White], and I’mma f–k them up too,” Paul said.
Masvidal didn’t seem too interested in the bout, telling Paul that he “can’t f–king afford me.”
“I fight for money or to fight the best in the world,” Masvidal said. “You’re neither.”
Neither Masvidal nor Diaz packs the same power that Woodley possessed during his run as the UFC’s welterweight champion, but both fighters’ popularity would surely outweigh the lack of knockout potential.
Meanwhile, big names from other sports have chimed in with hopes of becoming Paul’s next opponent, including former Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs running back Le’Veon Bell.
“Fight me,” Bell wrote on Twitter. “Stop tryna fight ppl who can’t box.”
Bell’s comments didn’t exactly get the seal of approval from those in the combat sports scene, and both Paul and Woodley themselves shut down the idea on social media.
“See a person courageous enough to go into battle, and use that to try to throw your name in there for a bag. Without making that walk,” Woodley wrote in response to Bell. “That’s defined as clout chasing. Surprising from you.”
One name that surely stands out with an actual boxing career to work with is Tommy Fury, the half-brother of heavyweight boxing superstar Tyson Fury.
Paul’s rematch with Woodley in December of 2021 was initially scheduled to be a fight against Fury, but an injury leading up to the fight forced Fury to back out of the bout.
Reigniting that rivalry makes a ton of sense from a talent perspective, but Paul’s star definitely got bigger when he knocked Woodley out in impressive fashion in the rematch.
The YouTube star definitely agrees, as he called out arguably the greatest boxer in the world when he tweeted at Canelo Alvarez in the days after the second Woodley fight.
“I hope you’re training,” Paul said in a tweet directed at the undisputed super middleweight world champion.
Regardless of what’s next for Paul, it’ll be interesting to see how his popularity rises in 2022.
If he can keep stringing together wins, the sky is the limit as it relates to potential opponents and the finances of it all.
But, one bad loss could burst the bubble that the boxing sensation has built over the last few years.