Jake Paul is beginning his professional boxing career in earnest this weekend as he takes on 10-1 cruiserweight Andre August, but Charlotte Daly and Alex McCarthy are debating if he should still take the Conor McGregor fight on The Hook.
The Problem Child is moving away from the crossover bouts that built his name in the sport and wants to prove himself as a true, genuine professional boxer.
At the beginning of his career around 2019, Paul was incessantly calling out McGregor.
In the years since, Paul has made bucketloads of money going 8-1 as a boxer – his sole loss coming against Tommy Fury – while McGregor has too made piles of cash, but his fighting career has not gone as planned.
He has lost three in a row and is planning his UFC comeback next summer, two years on from a terrible leg break suffered inside the octagon.
McGregor suffered a leg break during his second defeat to Dustin Poirier in July 2021
Paul got the win over Nate Diaz in a boxing ring, a man who has beaten McGregor in UFC
Paul has beaten one of McGregor’s great UFC rivals in Nate Diaz and while it was one-way traffic in the early going for Paul baiting McGregor, the Irishman has begun to acknowledge the former YouTuber more and more.
Even if the opportunity arises for Paul to face McGregor, Charlotte Daly feels strongly that Paul has to stay committed to the path he has chosen.
‘I think he would fight Conor McGregor but I wouldn’t want him to fight Conor McGregor because I think he’s going down this path now and he said it there about he wants to eventually put himself in a position where he’d be ready for a world title shot or something like that.
‘If he wants to be a professional boxer and he wants to go down that route he can’t keep dipping his toe back into that crossover world. Not saying Conor McGregor is an influencer but, you know, taking on influencers again he’s made it abundantly clear that he wants to be away from misfits for example that I just think it would be one step back for him in terms of his long-term goals for boxing if he was to take on McGregor.
‘Now obviously that fight would be interesting. I’m sure it would have an amazing build-up with the two characters of Conor McGregor and Jake Paul. There’s no doubt about that.
‘They both have the stardom, they’ll sell tickets, everything like that. But I think for Jake Paul and his long-term goals, I think it would be a shame for him to take that fight,’ Daly argued.
Jake Paul took great pleasure in mocking Conor McGregor for breaking his leg
That’s all well and good, but will Jake Paul become a world champion? Alex McCarthy doesn’t think so.
‘I don’t think Jake Paul will be a world champion in boxing. Like, okay, yeah, you want to be legitimate, but how far is that really going to take him? I think there will come a point where the best thing for him will be fighting Conor McGregor or someone like that.
‘And I also think Conor’s a world away from misfits, right? That’s not like fighting KSI or anyone else. Also if you’re Jake Paul, he’s got all the advantages over Conor. He’s massive.
‘Conor has gotten massive muscular wise, but he’s still 5 foot 8 or whatever he is and you know Jake is like north of 6 foot. If I was Jake I would fancy myself in that encounter even though Conor, I think, is an underrated boxer compared to what people think.
‘He’s obviously got great hands in MMA but he was able to touch Mayweather… as much as Mayweather let him maybe! I don’t know. I think him and Jake Paul would generate a lot of interest. When Jake Paul first started calling out Connor, Connor was years ahead, right?
McGregor has been involved in a superfight before when he lost to Floyd Mayweather in 2017
‘Like he was still fighting Dustin Poirier, he was at the top of his game, his star power was still big. Now he’s got three losses in a row, he’s had a broken leg, he’s only just coming back into UFC. I think people are starting to believe it’s more feasible that Jake Paul will eventually fight Conor McGregor. My only thing with that, go on,’ McCarthy insisted.
Whatever Paul’s prospects of becoming a world champion are, Daly believes he now has to stay the course and see it through, no matter what opportunities arise.
‘But then, for me, that comes down to then, okay, we’ve said there that we don’t think that Jake could be a world champion, so he should take this fight, right? If he genuinely believes he can, then why would he take the fight? Do you know what I mean? So I’m thinking from his perspective that if he thinks, if he genuinely thinks he can be a world champion, don’t do it,’ Daly implored.
‘And if you take that fight, that signals to me, you don’t believe that you will actually be a world champion.’
Once upon a time, McGregor was at the very height of his UFC fame and he took a break to fight Floyd Mayweather in one of the most lucrative fights of all-time.
Paul has a supremely good record against MMA fighters, gaining victoris against four of them
Could roles reverse for Paul?
‘I think you could take a sabbatical for that fight. If that fight was there, the sheer money involved, I think you could take a sabbatical for it. I sure as hell would,’ McCarthy stated.
‘He’s got enough money! He’s got, you know, him and his brother have a combined reported income or net worth of 55 million,’ Daly retorted.
‘Charlotte, nobody has too much money in this game. Have you not learned this yet?’
A lot of moving parts would have to align for this fight to happen. It’s not likely in the next year or even two, but Daly doesn’t believe it should be in Paul’s long-term thinking at all.
Logan (left) and Jake Paul (right) became multi-millionaires long before they were fighters
‘Maybe I’m just thinking with the athlete mindset that, yeah, okay, you’ve got money, he’s got so many sources of income, right, and he can make money in any way that he wants. We’ve seen that from his rise from YouTube to stardom.
‘If you really are committed to this path of being a boxer, be committed and do it. And I’m sorry, I know it’s a big payday for Conor McGregor, but if he’s genuinely committed… Be committed,’ Daly encouraged.
‘We don’t know when this fight would be,’ McCarthy started. ‘It wouldn’t be soon because Connor’s still UFC contracted anyway, and he’s making his comeback next summer. So it’s not imminent.
Conor McGregor is alreadya UFC legend, but he often talks about his desire to box once more
‘A lot could change. He [Paul] might not do very well against Andre August. I think he will – for the record. I think the next few fights for Jake at a professional level, he should do well, they should match him properly.
‘But if he doesn’t and the plan doesn’t work out in a year from now, Charlotte, you’ll be singing a very different tune because Jake won’t have many other options than to face big names in the sport.’
Paul has made no secret of his desire to win over the respect of boxing fans and climb the ladder. Daly believe that should it not go as planned, he should be welcome to change course.
But not before seeing his goal through.
Paul’s only loss has come against Tommy Fury earlier this year, and that was on points
‘But then that’s where he turns around and he goes, okay, I’m reassessing, I’m reevaluating, I’m not gonna be a world champion, or I’m not gonna get as far as I want, so now I’m gonna take the payday and I’m gonna go and do it.
‘Look, I’m not against him taking the payday. I would feel the same if I didn’t believe I could be a world champion. If I genuinely, genuinely thought I could be a world champion, why would I set my goals off course to go and do this? For a payday? If he’s gonna be a world champion, he’s gonna be up there and he’s got the stardom, he’s gonna have big paydays anyway.
‘So I mean look, I’m playing devil’s advocate here, but I just think for him he should stay on the path of trying to become a boxer.
‘I mean I complimented him in a podcast or two ago saying that I liked the fact that he was moving away from the influence of boxing and credit to him for trying to go down this path, but keep going down the path. Don’t stop,’ Daly finished.