UFC president Dana White might have just threatened Jake Paul with legal action, but the celebrity boxing prodigy still believes he’ll be able to lure more UFC stars into megafight boxing matches.
In an interview with Yahoo’s Kevin Iole, White was surprised when he heard Paul had called out Cormier over the weekend.
“Daniel Cormier? Why don’t you go fight a f****** boxer? What the f*** do these guys keep talking to UFC guys for? I might have to send another f****** legal letter to these f***** idiots. Yeah, go talk to a f****** boxer. What are you doing?” White said.
But Paul made an appearance on Max Kellerman’s “Max on Boxing” ESPN2 show on Friday and revealed his current strategy still included targeting UFC stars Conor McGregor, Nate Diaz, and Daniel Cormier.
Paul also named two professional boxers as targets: rising cruiserweight prospect Tommy Fury and retired boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Paul: ‘I’ve Proven Myself’
Kellerman told Paul he respected him while also noting that there were many in the combat sports community who did not.
“What I respect about what you’re doing is that you are responsible only for yourself, and you seem to me to be taking the craft of boxing, although you’re a novice, seriously,” Kellerman said.
“I think I’ve proven myself at this point,” Paul said. “When I knocked out Nate Robinson, he was a ‘real athlete’ and everyone was betting on him to beat me. And then I go up against an ‘Olympic athlete’ in Ben Askren, and this guy is a fighter. You know, they call him an MMA fighter. He’s a two-time NCAA Division I champion [in wrestling], and I’m an actor, Youtuber, who transitioned into fighting.”
Paul won both of those fights by first-round knockout. He’s 3-0 with 3 KOs as a pro boxer, and he’s already one of the top pay-per-view draws in the sport.
“I understand why people are mad, Paul said. “But the legends, the OGs like Mike Tyson, for example, are saying what I’m doing for the sport is the best thing that’s happened to boxing in years. That’s why Mike Tyson said.”
Kellerman Believes Paul Should Be Embraced
Paul said he sees as many people supporting him as he does naysayers.
“So some people are mad, but I think the other people, that are on my side, they understand what I’m doing,” Paul said.
Count Kellerman among those who understand, and he argued more people from the combat sports should probably just embrace Paul for his work because of the interest he drives.
“That’s a good thing, and the boxing establishment should embrace that,” Kellerman said.
Paul said his only two goals in boxing were to have fun and to prove to people that he’s a real fighter. He said boxing saved his life, and he wants to show the world he’s legit.
To do that, Paul believes he’ll need to keep stepping in the ring with bigger and better fighters. While Askren was 19-2 in MMA, he was among the least dangerous strikers in MMA. Paul hopes to fight someone with much better skill in that department next time around.He wants to take a big step up the ladder for his next fight, and he wants to continue to do that moving forward.
“I want to fight real boxers. I want to fight real MMA fighters,” Paul said.
Paul Explains Targeting of UFC Stars
Paul said his boxing career is about making the biggest and best fights possible and explained why that means targeting UFC stars. He doesn’t plan on taking the traditional route up the rankings in the sport, but he wants to fight big names in huge pay-per-view events.
“This all started with calling out McGregor, and the goal to fight McGregor, because I know how big a fight that would be,” Paul said.
But Paul believes in his ability, and he plans on beating up some of the biggest UFC stars in the sport. Kellerman didn’t ask him about White’s most recent threat about legal letters, but Paul named enough of them to catch a slew of them in his mailbox maybe next week.
“I want to be undefeated, and I want to beat good guys. I want Nate Diaz. I want Conor McGregor. Those are the guys I want to go up against. My brother is fighting Floyd [Mayweather], so after that, I could go up against Floyd,” Paul said.
Paul on Cormier: ‘He Goes Quiet’
Paul even suggested that former UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Cormier was actually scared to fight him in a boxing ring.
“I’m down 100%. I just don’t think he’ll do it. He’s retired, and that’s why he has no room to talk…I could go get my boy Stipe [Miocic] from Cleveland, and put him back on Cormier to handle that light work,” Paul said.
So Paul isn’t looking for another Askren, but he is looking for more UFC stars. He wants to fight bigger and better competition, and he thinks he’ll beat every fighter he’s called out so far.
That includes Cormier.
“I’m down. I’d fight Daniel Cormier. That’d be massive. Again, I think I would win, and as soon as I said that, he goes quiet,” Paul said.
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