Jake Paul’s return date is now official, as the internet celebrity turned incredibly famous novice boxer will headline a Showtime pay-per-view on Saturday, Aug. 6, from Madison Square Garden.
Featherweight titleholder Amanda Serrano will also be on the card. They’re sort of billing it as a double main event, but Paul’s fight will definitely go last.
The 25-year-old Paul (5-0, 4 KO) didn’t announce an opponent for the show, but Tommy Fury remains the top rumor. Paul and Fury (8-0, 4 KO) were supposed to meet last December, but Fury pulled out of the fight late, which gave us Paul’s rematch with Tyron Woodley instead. It was a dreadful fight until a highlight reel knockout in the sixth round.
Paul and Fury have maintained a social media beef in the meantime, and unless there’s a left field pull from Jake, there doesn’t seem to be any better opponent amid the general demand from the consumer that he face a “real boxer” instead of another rickety old MMA guy.
Going to Madison Square Garden is really the first time that Paul is attempting to headline at a more traditional boxing venue in a more traditional big fight city. In his three main event fights, he did a Triller PPV in a “bubble” setting at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta against Ben Askren, fought in his birth home city of Cleveland at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse against Woodley, then rematched Woodley at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
It’s not only a bold move by Paul to see how his celebrity will draw somewhere like Madison Square Garden, but also may have made it vital that Brooklyn’s Serrano (42-2-1, 30 KO) be on the card to somewhat off-set his naysayers, which may at least partially explain Eddie Hearn’s statement that Most Valuable Promotions were unwilling to even negotiate a Serrano rematch with Katie Taylor in Ireland.
The 33-year-old Serrano will defend her WBC and WBO titles at 126 lbs.
“My blood is 100 percent Puerto Rican and my borough is all of New York,” she wrote on social media. “August 6th, two main events. I’m back at my natural weight, defending my belts. This time I’m not letting the judges decide.”
As far as potential opponents for her at 126 go, there’s no one even close to either the star power or in-ring ability of Taylor available. Erika Cruz, the WBA titleholder, and IBF titlist Sarah Mahfoud would be the unification choices available. There’s also interim WBO titleholder Brenda Carbajal, perhaps. They could also look at bringing someone up from 122, as Serrano did the last two times she fought at 126 against Daniela Bermudez and Yamileth Mercado.