Despite his breakthrough in boxing, Jake Paul Conor used McGregor to measure his influence at the box office after breaking his pro record to 4-0. If the “money fight,” he said, UFC stars like McGregor and Nate Diaz should come to him now.
Diaz was the only one to tweet directly to Paul, writing “both guys suck” as Paul and Tyron Woodley stumbled into a split decision on Sunday in Cleveland. But a tweet from McGregor mistakenly described as a dig at Paul was an easy starting point for the YouTuber turned boxer.
Paul has been chasing a fight with McGregor almost since he got into professional boxing. But with the former two-division champion on a slippery slope in his career and recovering from a broken leg, his approach continues to change.
“Conor McGregor has a lot more to focus on right now than I do,” Paul said, responding to a message from McGregor that said, “I’m drooling” — and shortly after, it seemed to be a reference to an expensive lobster dinner. “I am five wins in a row. He is 1-3 in the last four years. The guy needs to get off his little vodka or whatever brand, get sober, get back to the gym, and then we can fucking fight.
“But to be fair, he doesn’t hit harder than Woodley. He doesn’t weigh as much as Woodley. He’s smaller than Woodley. I said it before the fight – I think Woodley is a harder fight than him, especially on the road where he goes. Conor goes down, I go up. Woodley came into the game. We’ll see.”
Paul then turned his attention to Diaz’s tweet, which he mocked by taking the voice of a person with a speech impediment.
“Another loser talking,” Paul said. “Of course he wants a payday. I am now one of the money fighters in boxing. The man has a chin, but he doesn’t punch, right? So that fight is there, no problem. Thanks for the attention. Thanks for looking at me. I appreciate it, fanboy.”
Paul didn’t count the receipts for his first fight with Woodley, but he cited McGregor’s Irish homecoming seven years ago as proof of his appeal to his native Cleveland.
“The live gate was bigger than Conor McGregor’s UFC headlining event in his hometown of Dublin, Ireland,” he said. “So I sold more tickets than Conor McGregor did with the full support of the UFC in my fourth fight ever. We have made more turnover.”
Official live gate numbers for Sunday’s event weren’t released immediately, but that would mean more than $1.4 million in revenue, the earnings revealed for UFC Fight Night 46 in 2014.
McGregor fired Paul in early interviews, but recently harbored the possibility of a fight sometime in the future. Diaz, who has been known to lag behind until a lucrative opportunity presented itself, now has Paul on his radar.
Whether that interest goes both ways is a million-dollar question. Paul could give Woodley the rematch if he honors a bet to get “I love Jake Paul” tattooed on his body. On the other hand, he may be able to move to another UFC star, or, for the first time, fight a veteran fighter.