In the influencer boxing sphere, the two biggest names are the YouTube personalities KSI and Jake Paul, and for months, KSI has been openly courting a match between the two. Earlier this week, KSI even laid out the exact plan for their eventual matchup, saying he will knockout out Paul at the end of 2023. Only there’s one problem: Paul is losing interest.
Ahead of his fight with Tommy Fury in Saudi Arabia, Paul spoke with Ariel Helwani, dismissing KSI’s recent attacks.
“He’s like a side chick for me,” Paul said. “I have much bigger plans than him. I want to be a world champion, I’m going to become a world champion. That’s the path that I’m on. KSI is like a side quest. Of course I’m his end goal. It’s just funny to me. And that’s what makes me the A-side, how desperate he is. He wants this so badly.
“Don’t get me wrong, I would love to fight him, but I’m focused on fighting real fighters, real champions. He’s focused on doing WWE shows, the whole Misfits thing, fighting video gamers. That’s what I did four years ago, three years ago. There’s levels to this, and until he gets in there and fights someone like [Tyron] Woodley, which is who he should fight, I’m not impressed by anything he’s done.”
Paul’s primary criticism of KSI is the quality of his opposition. While Paul himself has faced backlash for primarily fighting MMA fighters during his boxing stint, KSI has not even done that, instead facing a litany of fellow influencers through his Misfits Boxing promotion. This is exacerbated by the fact that one of Paul’s previous opponents, former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, has been aggressively pursuing a fight with KSI, to no avail. In the same interview where KSI dragged Paul, he noted that his next opponent would likely be Joe Fournier, a former WBA International light-heavyweight champion and influencer, an opponent Paul has little respect for.
“Beat Woodley, 1 million percent,” Paul said when asked which opponent would be better for KSI. “Fournier doesn’t have an audience. Woodley is a massive name, is a massive pay-per-view draw, and a way more exciting fight. I think KSI wants to do it because Joe is technically a professional boxer, but Joe’s been in there with taxi drivers and really easy fighters. Joe has a good record, but it’s a padded record. He’s never fought anyone, actually...
“It’s funny, Tyron and I have gotten closer over the past couple of months. I think Tyron knocks him out, actually. And I think that’s why he’s most likely going to choose Joe.”
Should that come to pass, while Paul beats Tommy Fury and gets ranked by the WBC for his troubles, Paul says that would really put a damper on a potential fight between the two, because at the point, the only thing Paul would gain would be money.
“I’m already losing interest,” Paul said. “He talks, he has excuses, he says one thing and then goes back on his word. He reminds me of Tommy Fury, honestly. So I’ve already lost a lot of interest in it. I would mainly just be doing it to pick up a bag. Bank robbery, I’m going to go in there, knock him out, and do a front flip off of his unconscious body and take home the bag. That’s what that fight’s for for me.”
Paul faces Fury on Feb. 26 at the Diriyah Arena in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.