Many professional boxers and UFC fighters see an easy, lucrative payday in fighting YouTube personality Jake Paul, who has caused quite the stir in his limited run as a boxer.
Count UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman among them. Usman is considering a boxing match with Paul, as he told ESPN's Brett Okamoto on Thursday:
"He's starting to think he's a fighter, and that's the state we're in. YouTube fighters picking fights with actual fighters. It's a no-lose situation for them because if they go in and get beat up, they still make a lot of money. That kid is dangerously close to taking me to that violent place. He has no business mentioning my name in his mouth. And now he's putting pictures of me and my family out, so it's starting to slowly shift to that place where it could be a problem.
"I think with the right presentation and if it makes sense—at the end of the day, Dana is not the best promoter in the game for no reason. He knows what he's doing. If it makes sense for him, it's one of those conversations we might have to have. If it makes dollars, sometimes it makes sense. Who knows? We might have to have that talk."
Paul wants the fight, calling out Usman on social media earlier last month:
GOTCHA HAT @jakepaul
So let’s get this straight:<br><br>1. Usman calls me out to fight on TMZ sports interview<br><br>2. I quickly accept the challenge to fight and will give him biggest pay day of career ($10m+) <br><br>3. Usman then backs out of fight because I’m “a Disney kid”<br><br>4. Usman visits Disney world pic.twitter.com/CkUBZ5aVYM
Thus far, Paul is 3-0 in his fighting career, with wins over YouTuber AnEsonGib, retired NBA player Nate Robinson and retired UFC fighter Ben Askren (who was known as more of a grappler in his fighting career than a threat on his feet).
Fighting a current UFC champion in Usman, however—who has four title defenses to his name and has knocked out elite fighters like Jorge Masvidal, Gilbert Burns and Colby Covington, among others, via punches—is a whole other world.
As for Usman's next move in the Octagon, the 33-year-old said his next opponent was up in the air and that he'd be watching the matchups at UFC 263—namely Leon Edwards vs. Nate Diaz and Marvin Vettori vs. Israel Adesanya—very carefully:
He's less interested in a rematch with Covington, who has fought just once—a TKO over Tyron Woodley in 2020—after losing to Usman in Dec. 2019:
"I'm not going to say I don't want the fight. I want all the smoke. It doesn't matter who it is. I want all the smoke. At the end of the day, what has [Covington] done to earn this? Your claim to fame can't be, 'I went five rounds [against Usman in a title fight in 2019] and the guy broke my jaw and finished the fight.'"
Paul's next opponent is up in the air, while his brother Logan will face the formerly retired and undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. on June 6.