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Jake Paul next fight: What comes after knocking out Tyron Woodley?

Jake Paul needs an intriguing next opponent, but the realistic options may be few.

Jake Paul picked up another win, but are the cracks showing even at his level?
Jake Paul picked up another win, but are the cracks showing even at his level?
Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

Jake Paul won again on Saturday night, brutally knocking out Tyron Woodley in the sixth round of what had been a pretty boring rematch on Showtime pay-per-view.

Paul (5-0, 4 KO) and Woodley didn’t have a lot of buzz this time around. In part, that’s because the rematch came together on short notice. Also in part, that’s because there wasn’t really much demand for Paul-Woodley 2 after their August fight, which wasn’t all that exciting to watch.

The rematch was trending in a direction that would make you think maybe the Jake Paul experiment was running out of steam, not because he wasn’t doing alright — he was winning an ugly fight — but because for the second straight time, there wasn’t even anything fun about this on even a lowbrow level. Unlike Deron Williams and Frank Gore going out there and getting wild, Paul and Woodley were just clinching and kinda stinking the joint out.

But a single Jake Paul right hand changed that. The KO has gone pretty well viral, I’d imagine (I’m almost 40 years old, even though I work on the internet I don’t know what “goes viral” anymore). A single knockout like that will not only leave those who paid something stunning to remember, but give those who did not pay this time a reason they might want to next time around.

The Jake Paul fascination will live on, my dudes, however much any of us may wish it didn’t. But now he needs an opponent. There is no third fight with Tyron Woodley to do, that’s fully settled. He knocked that man right out and it’s over with, period.

So what now?

Note: Please don’t take this super seriously. I mean, parts of it are serious, I guess, but we’re talking about the boxing career of Jake Paul here. He’s going to do exactly what he wants that is actually available, and take exactly the level of risk he’s comfortable taking, and he’s got the earning power to do just that. When it comes to Jake Paul’s boxing career, it is Jake Paul’s world and we’re all just watching it happen.

Tommy Fury

Jake Paul v Tyron Woodley Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

The most obvious thing would be to revisit the fight with Tommy Fury, who was scheduled to be Paul’s opponent on Saturday before pulling out due to illness and injury less than two weeks before the fight.

Fury, a 22-year-old light heavyweight prospect with a 7-0 (4 KO) record and a famous last name, fought on the first Paul-Woodley card in August, and wasn’t exactly sparkling in his four-round win over Anthony Taylor.

To prepare for the clash with Jake Paul, Fury was training with half-brother Tyson and SugarHill Steward, in part because it’s good training to do, and in part because, being real, Tommy really can’t afford to take Jake Paul less than 100 percent seriously, because losing to Jake Paul would really, significantly damage his outlook as a professional boxer.

Paul may or may not be interested in doing this now. He didn’t seem that stoked about it the first time around, but it was an option that made enough sense. If he’s sincerely annoyed with Fury or feels like he wasted his time with the guy, Tommy may not get a second chance to cash the payday and knock off the internet superstar.

Nate Diaz or Jorge Masvidal

Both UFC fighters were in attendance last night, or they were for a while, anyway. Nate did a typical Nate Diaz interview with Ariel Helwani during the undercard. When asked if he was excited about the main event, he said, “No.” When asked if he had a prediction for the main event, he replied, “I don’t give a fuck.”

Post-fight, Paul called out both of them, saying, “Masvidal and Nate Diaz, y’all are some bitches for leaving this arena, because I know you don’t want that shit. I’ll take out both of y’all next. Just get out of your contract with Daddy Dana, and I’ll fuck them up, too!”

That last part is the biggest trick, of course — the contract, not the up-fucking. Dana White has no real incentive to let Nate Diaz or Jorge Masvidal out of their contracts, nor any to let them stay under contract but go do a fight with Paul. For one thing, they might lose. Those guys also are not professional boxers, and aging MMA dudes have so far not done great against Jake Paul in boxing matches. But what about...

Vitor Belfort

Donald Trump call Holyfield vs. Belfort boxing fight in Florida Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A few months ago, 44-year-old Vitor Belfort was able to punch an old, old man enough that a referee stopped it for the sake of whatever shred of decency the boxing world still clings to, and then threw out a nonsense $30 million, “winner take all” challenge to Jake Paul to come fight him on a Triller show.

A couple things about that:

  1. Jake Paul has done business with Triller already, and decided he had done enough, signing with Showtime and promoting himself. It has worked out OK for Jake.
  2. Triller have had enough problems in the boxing realm that it’s reasonable to doubt there’s any real $30 million in play.

I do think Vitor Belfort would fight Jake Paul, because Vitor Belfort is just a fighter, and I’d give him a shot. Vitor does not have a Tyron Woodley mindset or a Ben Askren skillset. He’s going to go in there and throw shots at anybody. It’s just who he is.

There are various reasons this probably doesn’t happen, and they go both ways. Jake Paul might not want to mess with this guy, and if Belfort is stuck in a Triller contract, that probably kills it anyway.

Conor McGregor

I can’t remember if Conor McGregor is retired again or not, but he’s coming off of messing up his leg pretty bad in a second straight loss to Dustin Poirier, and his public behavior since has been pretty questionable. Not that that part is new, really.

McGregor vs Jake Paul would still be a huge money fight. It would tick a lot of boxes that get people interested in watching “novelty” fights like this would be. The promotional build-up would be insane. But we’re talking about another guy who is under UFC contract here, too, and one who still has sincere drawing power for UFC, even if diminished from peak.

Canelo Alvarez

Please, huh? Stop it. But there. There’s his name.

Alen Babic

Do it. Babic is hittable, he can probably boil down to 192. For the purposes of this bit, I don’t care that there’s maybe nothing in this because Babic has no name value in the United States and isn’t a real name in the UK because he’s never been on reality TV like Tommy Fury has.

Look, you want a Professional Boxer who doesn’t have advanced, high level skills but isn’t a scrub? Someone who brings promote-able qualities to the table, like a record of 10-0 with 10 knockouts? Someone whose fights you can make a hell of a little highlight reel out of?

Alen Babic.

There you go.