Jake Paul next fight: The impossible problem of finding the social media star a suitable opponent


With the current cancellation of his deliberate Aug. 6 showdown with Hasim Rahman Jr., it is turning into more and more clear Jake Paul has an issue discovering applicable opponents. It is a difficult challenge that has no clear resolution as a result of Paul is greater than merely an aspiring boxer. Paul can also be a social media famous person and somebody whose profile results in his fights being pay-per-view sights.

When a combat must be on pay-per-view, it requires an opponent who has the correct attraction. Thus far in Paul’s 5-0 profession, he has fought social media influencers, former NBA stars and former blended martial arts champions. Whereas Paul has clearly improved as a boxer and exhibits pure energy, scoring some actually scintillating knockouts over males with no actual boxing expertise, his success and profile have led to calls for he face a “actual boxer” in his subsequent outing.

Paul twice tried to make a combat with Tommy Fury, youthful brother of heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, however the first combat fell by when Fury was injured and the second try was scrapped when Fury was denied entry into america as a result of his household’s ties to boxing promoter and alleged crime boss Daniel Kinahan. An try and salvage the date was made by slotting in Rahman, the son of former heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman Sr., just for that to collapse when Rahman was unable to make the contractually agreed weight for the bout.

Whether or not you fault Paul and his group for attempting to power Rahman to come back down drastically in weight from roughly 230 kilos to 200 — after which 205 after negotiations — or Rahman for agreeing to a weight he later claimed reaching would have been an “astronomical feat” earlier than claiming Paul was scared to combat him at a weight 5% increased than the contractually-agreed restrict, would not actually matter.

Rahman and Fury have been choices as a result of they’d — admittedly very skinny — skilled boxing resumes and their final names carried at the very least some cache with followers.

So, the query turns into: Now what?

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Paul has not fought since December 2021, which suggests, assuming he would not rapidly put collectively a combat within the subsequent 4 months, he has wasted a yr of his athletic prime at 25 years outdated. Possibly that has allowed him to enhance considerably by spending extra time within the health club, however we have not been capable of see if that’s true within the ring.

The calls will proceed for Paul to face an actual boxer. However that must be balanced with the opponent being somebody followers wouldn’t solely tune in to look at, however pay for the privilege of doing so. And, to prime off the necessities, it must be somebody of an applicable talent stage for a 5-0 fighter.

The WBC had claimed that Paul would earn a spot of their cruiserweight rankings with a win over Rahman. Understandably, this led to backlash, particularly as many individuals did not notice the paradox of the assertion did not imply Paul was going to crack the highest 10. The WBC rankings go to No. 40 with the present No. 40 fighter being Romano Kujak, who’s 11-0 in opposition to opponents with a mixed 110-253-15 file.

Would a combat with somebody like Kujak, who sits on the backside of a sanctioning physique’s prime 40 be a legitimate combat for Paul? Completely. Would it not draw any significant curiosity the best way fights with former MMA champions Tyron Woodley or Ben Askren did or Tommy Fury would have? No means.

One very potential choice for a Paul opponent in early 2023 is Nate Diaz, an enormously in style UFC fighter who is predicted to wrap up his UFC contract in September when he faces Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 279. Diaz vs. Paul would most probably be a field workplace smash, with each males doing a tough promote with their distinctive personalities and Diaz followers tuning in with the hopes of seeing their man, a “actual fighter,” derail Paul’s profession. Diaz additionally suits the profile of a fighter Paul tends to combat as somebody naturally smaller — or within the case of Rahman, so huge {that a} weight lower might drain him — giving Paul a bodily benefit within the combat.

However, ought to Paul beat Diaz in that hypothetical bout, it could do nothing to handle the criticisms that Paul has not fought a “actual boxer.” And, so, the cycle would merely start once more.

The fact could also be that there isn’t any “proper” subsequent opponent for Jake Paul, only a checklist of least dangerous selections that can proceed till one misstep blows up his profession solely or he merely defeats sufficient males, confirmed skilled boxers or not, that he receives a shot at some form of belt, even when a secondary or tertiary title — god is aware of boxing has sufficient of them and sanctioning our bodies all the time on the lookout for a payday — and has the possibility to show whether or not he actually has what it takes to hold with a real skilled boxer.


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