Jake Paul is targeting a clash with Conor McGregor within the next two years.
Love him or hate him, Jake Paul has captured the imagination of many in the fight game since his professional boxing debut last year.
Few fighters with a record of 2-0 find themselves earning the kind of money or stirring the kind of pay-per-view interest that Paul has over the past 12 months.
On Saturday night, Paul returns to the ring, with the YouTube star set to take on former UFC welterweight Ben Askren over eight rounds in boxing’s cruiserweight division.
“I’m just having fun and trolling,” Paul told MMA Fighting. “I’m sort of purposefully pitting the MMA community against me so they tune into this fight. It worked.”
Despite his far more extensive combat sports experience, Askren is an underdog against Paul due to the fact that he was never known for his boxing skills.
.@jakepaul on the scale and YOUR STAREDOWN between tomorrow night's main event!
Jake weighs in at 190.5lbs!
Who are you taking to win?#TrillerFightClub
— FITE (@FiteTV) April 16, 2021
If Paul is successful against Askren, he intends to continue calling out big names and adding to his record and bank balance.
The 24-year-old believes he is on a crash course with UFC superstar Conor McGregor, having previously offered the Irishman $50 million to fight him.
“I think we both are on a road to each other,” Paul said of a potential McGregor bout. “He wants another boxing fight. He wants to fight Manny Pacquiao. He would get toasted. He just keeps on taking Ls.
— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) December 14, 2020
“So I think him fighting me would not only be his money fight, but it would technically be the easiest challenge, right? Fighting Jake Paul would probably be easier than fighting Manny Pacquiao and it would be just as big.
“I think we’re a lot closer to a Jake Paul-Conor McGregor fight than anyone thinks. I think it could happen in the next 24 months.”
UFC President Dana White, who previously suggested he would be willing to bet $1 million that Paul loses against Askren, acted as co-promoter when McGregor swapped the Octagon for his lucrative, albeit unsuccessful, boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather in 2017.
McGregor intends to focus on MMA for the foreseeable future, however, and he will complete his trilogy with Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC 264 this summer.
Paul hopes ‘The Notorious’ avenges January’s defeat to Poirier so that there will be a greater interest in a potential clash between the divisive social media personality and the former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion.
“Conor’s the big name,” Paul said. “He’s an A-list celebrity, and there are very few fighters who are A-list celebrities. So we’ll see what happens. I hope he wins against Dustin, I guess, so that the fight becomes more exciting.”