Jake Paul made light work of Ben Askren when he knocked him out in the first round of their jamboree on Saturday night, and attention has already turned to his next potential opponent.
There are a mixture of also-rans, celebrities and real talent whose names are have been put forward, but we have to remember that the 36-year-old former UFC fighter was probably chosen because he was superficially credible and experienced, but was as far from a boxer as an MMA athlete could be.
Fournier returned to the ring to fight reggaeton artist Reykon after four years away from the ring, and knocked him down twice to stop his opponent.
The win gives him a 9-0 record, something that could be sold to the casual observer when Paul wants to talk up the challenge in front of him to shift tickets - there seems to be a market for viewers who want to see Paul’s lights get snuffed out, after all - but that record barely stands up to scrutiny.
"I would like Jake Paul next," he said after his win on Saturday, with the 38-year-old businessman from London ready to get back in the ring.
McGregor is perhaps responsible for what boxing has become, littered with publicity stunts rather than focused on making the best fight the best. McGregor was part of a $700m pay-per-view back in 2017 when he offered himself up as Floyd Mayweather’s 50th victim before the boxer retired. While few can doubt McGregor’s expertise in the Octagon, he simply did not have the expertise to pose a real challenge to the legendary fighter.
McGregor’s focus is now on his next UFC fight, but after that he might be ready for one more boondoggle to fund his retirement. The problem for Paul is if he considers McGregor too much of a real threat.
McGregor’s rival is adept at extracting the most amount of money he can from boxing, and he has been happy to follow up his McGregor spectacle with a trip to Japan to take care of Tenshin Nasukawa, the kickboxer.
Mayweather might be happy to entertain a deal to fight anyone, for the right price, which might hinder Paul’s pursuit of a fight due to his lack of popularity compared to Mayweather’s legendary status.
Paul and Fury have been at odds for months, which is a good way for the pair to raise their profile while their sporting achievements remain somewhat limited.
However, at least Tyson’s brother has some promise and is a professional boxer, which makes him the kind of opponent that Paul would want to run away from. The only thing that might help make the fight is Fury’s crossover appeal due to his celebrity turns, which could be enough for Paul to risk getting filled in on camera. Being able to tie it in - at Paul’s suggestion - with a Tyson Fury event might be able to spin enough money for everyone to debase themselves.
The 36-year-old UFC fighter last won in the summer of 2019, and is expected to return to the ring after more than a year away against Leon Edwards. If he puts in a disappointing performance, that might give Paul the confidence he needs to think he could pick off an easy win.
Nate Diaz gets KO’d in 3🤐— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) April 18, 2021
This isn’t going to happen, but after seeing the money earned by Paul, the former NBA player unsurprisingly fancies a shot at both a) revenge and b) more cash.