Jake Paul is promising that he’s taking the new pugilistic path of his career seriously.
The content creator turned KO artist has carved quite the lane for himself in the sweet science of late after starting his career off 2-0 with two knockouts.
On April 17, Paul will headline a Triller pay-per-view card in a boxing match against former ONE Championship crownholder and UFC fighter Ben Askren at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
The 24-year-old Paul wants to make sure everyone understands that he’ll be sustaining excellence in the sport for the long haul.
“I’m definitely a boxing lifer,” said Paul. “I’m addicted to this sport. I will become the biggest prizefighter in boxing. Simple as that … Haters will be haters. When there’s a new young buck in the game coming up and ruffling feathers, they’re going to be upset. But again, I’m just trying to bring more eyeballs to the sport. I’m having fun doing it and I’m just doing me. There’s room for everyone to eat.”
Paul has the capability to transcend audiences and tap into never-before-reached boxing viewers, but becoming the sport’s biggest breadwinner is an ambitious one.
In order to reach that status, Paul will have to pull off a yearslong streak winning fights against desired opposition, and not newbies like AnEsonGib in his pro debut.
“After my Nate Robinson fight, there were probably about 70 people calling me out, wanting to fight me. There were probably six people that made sense to fight in [Michael] Bisping, [Conor] McGregor, [Nate] Diaz, [Dillon] Danis, Askren, some YouTubers that are popular, but I wanted to fight a real MMA fighter … When it came to signing the contract, a lot of them didn’t want to do it. By the way, this is me coming to them with the biggest payday of their lives. This is Ben’s biggest payday of his life. He’s publicly said that. So, when it came down to signing the contract, he was actually down.
“This is boxing vs. MMA and you’re gonna see the difference. You’re gonna see the difference between a wannabe fighter, a guy who choked in the Olympics, a guy who choked in the UFC, and now a guy who’s gonna choke against Jake Paul. I’m gonna end this guy’s career as an embarrassment. [Jorge] Masvidal did it once, I’m about to do it again.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com