Floyd Mayweather apparently likes the idea of trading punches—and making money—with yet another Paul brother.
The Hall of Fame boxer offered a backhanded compliment of sorts to the YouTube-turned-boxer over the weekend ahead of Mayweather’s scheduled exhibition fight against RIZIN mixed martial artist Mikiru Asakura Sunday in a pay-per-view bout in Saitama, Japan.
The 45-year-old Mayweather praised Paul for his business savviness but cautioned that the 25-year-old would get in trouble once he fights a “real fighter.” The brash and controversial Paul, who sports a 5-0 record, with four knockouts, has made a name for himself in boxing by producing highlight reel knockouts over non-boxers (two former MMA Fighters in Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley, twice, a former NBA player in Nate Robinson, and a fellow YouTuber in AnEsonGib).
Mayweather fought Paul’s older brother, Logan Paul, last year in an exhibition bout distributed on pay-per-view by Showtime. In the lead up to that event, Mayweather, who retired in 2017 upon defeating Conor McGregor, was involved in a tiff with the younger Paul, who snatched his hat.
“Jake Paul, as of right now, for what he’s doing, it’s good for what he’s doing,” Mayweather said in an interview with TMZ. “But once he fights a real actual real fighter, it’s gonna be bad. But one thing I like about him: He’s selling it and he’s making good money. He’s entertaining. I like it.
“As long as he continues to fight MMA guys and YouTubers, he’s gonna continue to look good and shine. But once he fight a real fighter, a real fighter that can really fight, it’s not gonna be that good.”
Mayweather mentioned that Paul once said he was not interested in “exhibition fights,” prompting him to suggest that they can fight for real — the fight, however, would have to be contested closer to the weight Mayweather fights at currently instead of at cruiserweight, the weight class in which Paul currently fights. Paul is slated to go up against arguably the toughest opponent of his career in former MMA legend Anderson Silva Oct. 29 at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
“I think he (Paul) was doing a sitdown on a podcast one time, and he talked about it and he said, ‘I don’t want to do an exhibition against Floyd Mayweather.’ He said, ‘I’m only doing real fights,’” Mayweather recalled. “And of course, I can’t get high up in weight, but I’ll fight him in a real fight at the weight that I’m at.”
Shortly after Mayweather's comments circulated, Paul responded on Twitter, saying he would knock out the former champion inside six rounds and pleaded with Showtime Sports head Stephen Espinoza to make the fight. Paul's last couple of fights were televised by Showtime, and Mayweather has a close and longstanding relationship with the network.
"My brother took you the distance. I would finish you in 6. @StephenEspinoza
please make this fight happen so I can send him into proper retirement," Paul wrote.
Mayweather also ridiculed Paul for suggesting that he can beat Canelo Alvarez, the Mexican superstar and current undisputed 168-pound champion. Alvarez lost handily to Mayweather in their record-breaking pay-per-view bout in 2013.
“He’ll get f------ up by Canelo,” Mayweather said. “There is no way. He’ll get demolished. For what he’s doing, as long as they keep getting YouTubers and keep putting him in there with MMA guys that’s kind of over the hill, he’s going [to] continue to shine. So, I’m proud of him. I’m not really upset.”