Jake Paul has designs on eventually becoming a champion in boxing but he’s never going to turn down the opportunity to make a huge payday.
As he prepares to face former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva on Oct. 29, the former YouTuber turned combat sports superstar understands that his level of competition should only get tougher assuming he’s able to stay undefeated following his next fight. For the first time in his young career, Paul is actually a slight underdog to Silva, who defeated multi-time boxing champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in his return to boxing in 2021.
By all accounts, Paul beating Silva should serve as a graduation of sorts to move him beyond fights against his fellow social influencers but he won’t shy away from settling old grudges like the one he has with KSI.
“This opens the floodgates to a lot of competition, a lot of call outs, a lot bigger fights,” Paul told MMA Fighting. “It’s exciting.
“However, if someone’s talking s***, at the end of the day, and I can step in there and knock them out and make a ton of money, like you said it’s prize fighting, so if KSI wants to volunteer for his own death, I’m not going to be the one to tell him no.”
KSI — real name Olajide Olayinka Williams Olatunji — was part of the first major boxing event that featured social influencers when he faced Jake’s older brother Logan Paul in a pair of fights.
Since that time, KSI has continued his boxing career, most recently engaging in an event where he faced and defeated two opponents on the same night including a professional boxer named Luis Alcaraz Pineda.
Paul couldn’t help but mock KSI over the gimmick while promising that he’d never try to pull something like that, especially as he continues to seek legitimate wins to add to his record.
“He fought ‘two guys in one night.’ It was the cheesiest, stupidest thing,” Paul said. “It was such a waste of everyone’s time and money.
“I have a responsibility to my fans to put on really big fights that are wars with really good matchups and that’s what I’m going to continue to do.”
Beating somebody as experienced as Silva should put Paul out of reach for a novice like KSI but the 25-year-old fighter from Ohio still can’t deny that people would likely pay to see that fight.
That said, Paul would prefer to move onto bigger and better competition that will start moving him towards that long term goal of becoming a world champion.
“My level of opposition will just continue to raise,” Paul said. “That’s what I’ve done throughout my career, in each fight it gets harder and harder and harder and I encounter a new test and that’s what I have to do.
“No one’s going to tune into my fights if I’m fighting someone they think I’m just going to beat. I don’t want to put on fights like that.”