Jake Paul suffered his first loss as a professional boxer last month, dropping a split decision to Tommy Fury in Saudi Arabia. But instead of the bubble being burst on the genre-bending experiment, there is even more interest in the YouTuber-turned-prizefighter's next move.
There was a clause in the contract stating that if Fury won, Paul could demand an immediate rematch. Both Paul and Fury said after the bout they would be in favor of having a rematch next. Why wouldn't they? Paul has pride and wants to get that win. The fight did great business and Fury doesn't have another blockbuster opponent waiting in the wings other than Paul.
This is boxing, though. The old saying about the best laid plans applies even more to the sweet science. Fights that seem like no-brainers regularly do not come to fruition. Paul vs. Fury was booked twice and fell through both times before it actually happened.
There are other several intriguing potential fights for Paul. From a grudge match with fellow YouTube phenom KSI to that buzzed-about potential clash with MMA bad boy Nate Diaz and an even bigger and more interesting match: against his own brother, Logan Paul.
So, while Fury vs. Paul 2 is Paul's most likely next fight, it makes sense to look at what his other options could be. Here are five potential opponents and how those fights might shake out:
YouTuber and rapper KSI
If Paul is looking to rebuild himself with a victory, KSI is likely the best possible option for him. KSI has improved since he and Jake's older brother, Logan, started this influencer boxing fad five years ago. KSI has been training at London Shootfighters with Bellator MMA star Michael "Venom" Page and has shown some impressive, technical offense similar to Page. However, one has to consider the competition. People have criticized Paul for not fighting boxers; KSI hasn't fought professional fighters, just social media celebrities and the like. Paul's experience against former UFC champions and Fury should give him the edge.
Former UFC star Nate Diaz
While this fight doesn't seem nearly as likely as it did even a few months ago, the matchup remains intriguing. Diaz probably would not be excited about fighting Paul coming off a loss. And if it did happen, Paul would probably have to cut more weight than he has been. Diaz, after all, has fought most of his MMA career at 155 pounds and most recently at 170. Paul has fought in the low 190s and most recently weighed 183.6 against Fury.
We've never seen Diaz in a straight-up boxing match, but boxing Hall of Famer Andre Ward, who has trained with Diaz, has spoken highly of him. And almost certainly, the cardio would be on Diaz's side. No one wants to see the incredibly durable Diaz in the late rounds -- it doesn't matter what combat sport you're competing in. This guy does entire triathlons for fun during his training camps.
Five-division champion and future Hall of Famer Floyd Mayweather
Mayweather has been active lately doing exhibition boxing matches, including one against Logan paul in 2020. But the interest in those exhibitions seems to be waning, as evidenced by a disappointing turnout in England for Mayweather's bout last month with former Bellator fighter and reality-show star Aaron Chalmers. Mayweather is still the biggest name in boxing, though, even if he hasn't fought a professional bout since 2017 when he beat Conor McGregor. Paul has insisted he won't do any exhibitions at this stage, but Mayweather is a hard guy to turn down. Mayweather's fight with Paul's brother did massive business. And there's a built-in story.
Then, of course, there was that altercation this week between Paul, Mayweather and their respective teams in Miami. Paul said he was ambushed and Mayweather had "35 dudes" with him. Maybe Mayweather was just trying to get Paul back for stealing his hat. In any case, it sounds like a ready-made story for a fight.
Former UFC welterweight contender Mike Perry
Perry might be a bit busy right now in Bare Knuckle FC, where his next opponent is the newly signed former UFC middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold. But Perry was the backup to fight Paul if Fury withdrew again. That didn't happen, but Perry remains a future possibility for the "Problem Child," and it wouldn't be an easy fight. What Perry might lack in pure technical ability, he makes up for in athleticism, aggression and power. He's not such a fun guy to face. Paul would surely outbox him, skill for skill. But Perry could make it an entertaining battle as long as it lasts.
YouTube sensation, social media celebrity and WWE wrestler Logan Paul
This is a long shot and it likely will not happen... next. Logan has been crushing it in WWE and has a WrestleMania match against Seth Rollins next month. But brother versus brother is not completely out of the realm of possibility.
Both of them have talked about it publicly. While their parents would probably hate it, Paul vs. Paul would do huge business. The two siblings are, at their very core, brilliant marketers. And this would be a marketing dream. The odds of it happening any time soon are low. But do not be shocked if it's a serious possibility one day.