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Jake Paul talks Anderson Silva fight, wanting to sign David Benavidez, beef with Claressa Shields, and more

Jake Paul gets into this weekend’s fight with Anderson Silva, plus Claressa Shields, David Benavidez, a Taylor vs Serrano rematch, and more.

Jake Paul talks Anderson Silva, his desire to sign David Benavidez, and more
Jake Paul talks Anderson Silva, his desire to sign David Benavidez, and more
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Jake Paul is set to return to the ring on Saturday night, facing MMA legend Anderson Silva in a Showtime pay-per-view main event from Arizona, which is seen as clearly the stiffest test Paul (5-0, 4 KO) has faced to date.

In an interview with The DAZN Boxing Show, Paul talked about that fight, plus his desire to work with David Benavidez as a promoter, the Tank Davis and Ryan Garcia issues, his beef with Claressa Shields, and more.

On nerves ahead of this fight

“I’m good, man. I feel like with each fight I just get more and more experienced and more comfortable with going in the ring. I’m more capable to contend with these guys, and I’ve just trained so hard for this moment. My confidence is in my preparation. A little bit of nerves is always good, but I try to use it as excitement and as fuel.”

On balancing training and promotion

“It’s definitely a job. I go super hard and I pride myself on trying to be the best promoter of this generation, and to make content and just do every single interview possible to get myself out there, to get the fight out there, constantly remind people, to jam the date into peoples fucking heads so they never forget when the fight is. It’s a skill, but I have a really good team, a really good content team, but I definitely do spend a lot of my day every single day doing all the things I possibly can to make the fight as big as possible.”

“We’re editing every second of every video, changing individual shots. I’m the one coming up with the captions every single day. I’m coming up with the roll-out plan. We have a shared note with the whole team for all the content we have to post for the two weeks leading up to the fight. Obviously I have my weekly show ... But that’s what it takes nowadays. You have to work like this. You have to be your biggest promoter. And I hope to be setting a standard here for the next generation of young boxing people who want to have big fights and do all of these things. It’s a lot of work, but it all pays off in the end.”

On his Showtime “All Access” against Floyd Mayweather’s

“I think they’re different, but I think they’re both great, man. Showtime does such a good job. Floyd, I think his is a lot that has to do with money and flashiness, whereas mine is more about the story of what’s going on here, where I came from and why I’m doing this, and how boxing saved my life, really. I think that’s the difference, but I definitely do have some of that same, like, loudmouth bravado as Floyd, for sure.”

On where he thinks he’d get the most fan support

“I think probably somewhere in Texas. I don’t know, but my demographic’s so interesting. It’s all over. I don’t even know if I could actually answer that question accurately. ... LA people are jaded toward celebrities, they don’t care. There’s rap shows and concerts and games and the Lakers and Rams — there’s something different every weekend. I think it’s the places in the middle of nowhere that have the most hardcore, loyal fans that will show up for you.”

On what he’d do with the Gervonta Davis vs Ryan Garcia situation as a promoter

“It’s about making it happen. I don’t get why these guys — and same thing with Errol Spence and Crawford, it’s, like, why can’t these deals get done? And it’s bigger than just them. This is hurting the sport of boxing. Make it 50/50 splits — honestly, Gervonta sells more than Ryan, so 60/40 and move the fuck on. Like, let’s go, get the fight done, and Ryan Garcia, if you really think you’re gonna win, then you can get the 70/30 in the rematch. Just make the fucking fight happen! Quit with all these little things and all the stipulations.

“But it is hard. I just think people have to be more willing to sacrifice certain points. Even with Anderson Silva, there was, like, five different points to make the fight happen. I just agreed with all of them, because I’m confident in my ability. We gave him exactly what he wanted to get paid, we gave him the bigger ring, we gave him the exact amount of time he needed to train. ... I don’t care. Let’s just fucking fight.”

On whether MVP Promotions have approached any major names

“We’ve been talking to a lot of different people here and there. We’re looking for the right fit; we want to grow slowly. We don’t want to be one of those promotional companies that have a bunch of people signed but only a couple of them shine. We want to have a full, All-Star roster. That’s why I’m excited for Ashton Sylve to finally go up on a big stage here and get a big fight against a formidable opponent who a lot of boxing fans know.”

On fighters he’d like to have on his team

“David Benavidez. I think he’s big in the boxing world and he’s a superstar, he’s my favorite boxer, but he needs that push just like Amanda Serrano did into the mainstream. The kid needs to be on billboards, he needs to be on podcasts, he needs to be collaborating with influencers. He needs help making some content and getting some big sponsorships to get his name out there even more.”

On a possible Serrano vs Katie Taylor rematch

“It’s always been there. Amanda just had to retain her belts at [126], and she did that, and she still wants to go get the last belt, I think, to become undisputed. But the rematch is there. The money just needs to be right, and Eddie (Hearn) knows that. That was the biggest women’s fight of all time, not even close. It made DAZN and Matchroom so much money. If the deal is right, we’ll go for it. I watched the fight back, man, and again, Amanda Serrano won the fight. So why not go and get that one back?”

On whether he’ll get the credit for beating for Anderson Silva

“They’re gonna write me off after, and start to write Anderson off, and start to make all these excuses and come up with a list of five more opponents that they want to see me fight. And that’ll be the next five opponents I go and fight. It’s no worries, that’s part of the game. That’s why I said it [before], don’t forget now that Anderson Silva is the betting favorite. I’m the underdog. Dana (White) said I would never beat him, every single MMA fighter in the world right now is saying Anderson’s gonna win. So yeah, they’re gonna make up excuses.”

On his beef with Claressa Shields and why he didn’t give her a shout-out

“I’m not here to give people personal shout-outs, and I didn’t think that she would want that or need that from me. She did her thing and won, it was great, she proved me wrong, because I wanted Savannah Marshall to win. And I didn’t think she needed me to sing her a happy birthday.”

“I’m cool with [squashing the beef]. I thought that event again just showed how big women’s boxing is and I think Claressa has done a great job of expanding the sport, and I’ve always said that. Bro, I have so many fucking random beefs with people. ... I forget what we were even arguing about in the first place.”

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