After suffering his first loss in boxing, what now for Jake Paul?
There was a time when a boxing loss could end the Jake Paul phenomenon. Let’s say Ben Askren beat him or even Tyron Woodley in their first fight. If that were the case, the last two years would have been very different for Paul. The YouTube box experiment could have withered away before it even had a chance to catch fire.
But it caught fire, didn’t it? And now, in just a few moments Paul’s first boxing loss, split decision against Tommy Fury, this loss doesn’t really seem like such a big deal. Paul, still only 26 years old, may have more opportunities now than ever, even with his once-perfect 6-1 record.
Context also matters. Paul wasn’t knocked out or blown away by the wind. In fact, he was the one who scored the only knockdown of the fight, sending Fury into the eighth and final round. Sportzshala scored the fight a draw. It was a very close fight and the rematch will likely sell well. Paul vs. Fury actually picked up steam after two previous cancellations, and Fury, 23, became an even bigger star after the win.
Paul’s substantial pride will probably point him in that direction. He has a rematch clause and Paul said in the ring after the fight that he wanted to implement it. He’ll want to take that win back and say he’s beaten everyone he’s ever faced, just like he said he knocked out everyone he faced before his decision win over Anderson Silva.
Is Paul vs Fury 2 the best option? Probably no. Frankly, Paul has a lot of iron on fire. There’s a real story to be told to Paul and fellow YouTuber KSI. Both of them, along with Logan Paul, started the influencer-turned-boxer craze back in 2018 when KSI took on Logan in an amateur fight. KSI defeated Logan in a professional rematch in 2019 before younger brother Jake turned the entire subgenre on its head by knocking out former MMA champions.
Jake Paul and KSI haven’t stopped arguing with each other over the past few years, but the fight between them has never really made much sense – until now.
Paul has been undefeated in professional boxing matches, while KSI has racked up three knockout victories in exhibitions since last summer, including two wins in one night. KSI had some fun on social media Sunday when Paul lost, but Paul at least met legitimate fighters, even if none of them were “real” pre-Fury boxers.
Paul vs. KSI is likely to be the biggest money fight Paul can have right now, especially if Paul’s boxing match with former UFC contender Nate Diaz, which once looked very promising, never happens. The fight with Diaz is definitely one that Paul could reconsider, but now that Paul has lost, he’s not as attractive anymore. However, still marketable? Absolutely.
And then there is MMA. After all, Paul signed with the PFL last month. At the time, it was planned that Paul would make his debut in the cage at the end of this year. It may still be on the table, but it certainly doesn’t look as attractive now that some issues are being decided in boxing.
In the end, Paul and his team will do anything that brings more money and more meaning. So far, Paul has been making all the right moves, guided by the extremely savvy former UFC CFO Nakisa Bidarian, who co-founded Most Valuable Promotions with Paul. These two will be busy in the next few months promoting Katie Taylor vs. Amanda Serrano 2.
These are all good problems for Paul. And while Paul’s stock didn’t take too much damage from the loss, Fury’s win could make him the next crossover star. He has a job in the ring, but he already has the following: competitiveness, and now a resounding victory to set the flag. After that, there are plenty of big fights and opportunities in store for Fury as he retires. shadows of his great heavyweight brother Tyson.
If Paul and Fury get back together and Fury wins, especially by knockout, it could be a monumental event for his glory. There are probably no other opponents that would make sense for Fury to raise his shares other than Paul, so you’ll have to trust that Fury and his team will push for a rematch – and a more certain outcome. But it’s hard to say, as Fury’s team builds their careers more traditionally, against apprentices and gatekeepers.
The irony in all of this is that after the number of feuds between Paul and Fury over the past two-plus years, it was Paul who was responsible for turning Fury from a star on the UK Love Island reality show from a rookie boxing career to potentially a profitable draw in the square of the circle.
“The world has been watching this fight,” Fury said at the post-fight press conference. “Now I have this experience. So when I start another big dance like this, a lot is behind me. I will know how to deal with it. Having been in the ring once with Jake, I’m pretty sure next time I’ll get a stoppage.”