Boxing has always been a bit of a circus, but the recent trend of social media stars taking on athletes (from boxing/MMA and other sports) has amped that up a level.
But, hey, Logan Paul really is just a few weeks away from getting in the ring with Floyd Mayweather, albeit for an exhibition. His brother Jake, meanwhile, knocked out Nate Robinson and Ben Askren, and now he’s in negotiations for his next fight.
Whoever it ends up being, it’ll be distributed in partnership with Showtime Sports, thanks to Paul’s new deal. From Marc Raimondi at ESPN:
The YouTuber-turned-prizefighter has a deal in place for his next boxing match to be distributed by Showtime Sports, Paul’s adviser Nakisa Bidarian told ESPN on Wednesday. Paul’s team and Showtime are in advanced talks about the potential opponent, date and location, Bidarian said. A network source confirmed the news.
Paul had previously been associated with the upstart Triller Fight Club.
The break with Triller is interesting, though perhaps a sign that Paul hopes to be taken as a legitimate boxing presence, at least while he’s still a commodity there. Triller, of course, made headlines after the Paul-Askren fight for aggressively going after streaming sites.
According to a Triller executive quoted by ESPN, there doesn’t seem to be any hard feelings on either side:
Ryan Kavanaugh, the CEO of Triller parent company Proxima Media, told ESPN on Wednesday that his promotion was moving forward without Paul.
“We love Jake,” Kavanaugh said. “I wish Jake the absolute best. We had our two fights with him. … I think for us, we’ve gone the distance with him that we can go. We won’t be doing any more Jake fights.”
Paul’s move to the more mainstream Showtime likely means we’ll get his next opponent shortly, although who that will be remains unclear. Still, given his fame and true commitment to promotion (right down to staged run-ins with other fighters!) and the fact that plenty of people would love to see Jake Paul punched in the face, a big payday for all involved certainly feels inevitable.