Yeah, we know. Jake Paul.
So there’s a segment of people already holding their nose.
In fact, it’s probably a big segment of people holding their nose.
But there’s also a pretty big segment of people – whether they’re traditional boxing fans or not – at least mildly interested in what Jake Paul is planning to do next as it relates to the ring.
An announcement about who’ll share the marquee with him next is expected any day.
Paul won his first six fights against a fellow YouTuber, an ex-NBA player and three faded former MMA fighters (one of them twice) before tasting defeat against Tommy Fury, a British-based reality TV personality who happens to be the half-brother of heavyweight champ Tyson Fury.
He returned six months later with another UFC alumnus, Nate Diaz, and with a talked-about rematch in the cage now on the back burner, he's scanning the horizon for another ring test.
Toward that end, who among us with a pain-in-the-neck sibling wouldn't relish the idea of lacing up gloves and knocking them around a bit, just to let out a little frustration?
And if the general public were willing to pay bags of money to see it?
That's where Jake and brother Logan find themselves these days at the top of the crossover boxing mountain. If they promote it, people will come. And there's simply no more circus-like event they could concoct, short of one involving ex-presidents perhaps, that'd cater more to that crowd.
As recently as earlier this year, it was at least a question to be pondered.
“I don't know if it will ever happen, man,” Jake Paul said on Piers Morgan Uncensored. “We can fantasize about it. Who knows? I think it could be really interesting.”
Of course, if the folks aren’t down with the idea of their kids fighting, there are other options.
When it comes to tilling familiar “ex-MMA stars looking for crossover paydays” ground, isn’t it convenient that Jorge Masvidal is craving the spotlight.
The UFC's original "BMF" champ retired from octagonal combat after a loss at UFC 287 in Miami, but he's been rumbling lately about a desire to return as a professional boxer.
He recently told ESPN that he'd be in the ring early next year and that somebody, presumably a prospective foe, would "get killed." Paul, meanwhile, was left in the lurch when, according to business partner Nakisa Bidarian, a would-be rival was unable to secure a visa to enter the United States.
So why not kill two birds with one stone?
“I'm hearing those numbers that got thrown around and made,” Masvidal told ESPN MMA). “I'm like ’Man, I'll throw my hat, my name in that lottery pool that mish mash.’”
Also in that lottery pool?
Well, let’s just consider it mildew in the filter.
Still, though the action in his recent fight against Tommy Fury could be called "boxing" in only the most liberal of terms, it's impossible to argue British influencer KSI doesn't have a following.
Being a social media magnate, he's smart enough to realize throwing down with Jake Paul would be good for follower numbers and better for financial well-being. And though he was an insult to fundamentals in his loss to Fury, KSI's feud with Paul ensures that if it's a fight he wants, it's there.
KSI's manager, Mams Taylor, told The MMA Hour that Paul backed out of a would-be match for December because he wanted “a bigger name.” But Paul did go on YouTube after the KSI-Fury fight and said, “I still want to decapitate KSI.”
Believe who you like. But dollars make sense. And this one makes loads of both.
All that said, there’s one golden goose out there to be captured.
His name? Conor McGregor.
The fiery Irishman hasn't graced an octagon in 28 months and hasn't won a sanctioned fight in nearly four years. But that doesn't mean his name isn't in the mouth of every combat sports athlete seeking fame and fortune.
Logan Paul dubbed him a “little leprechaun” while issuing a challenge following his defeat of McGregor's friend Dillon Danis on the Fury-KSI undercard, and Jake has intermittently gotten into the act since he first boxed professionally four years ago.
It's seemed closer at some times than others at various points since, but it's rarely been more appropriate than it is now – as Paul looks for a transcendent opponent and McGregor aims to return to prominence for something other than run-ins with the law.
McGregor, for those who've forgotten, reached the 10th round with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the champion of all crossovers in 2017, generating more than four million pay-per-view buys.
So, if there's a bigger novelty event to be made, we'd love to hear about it.
“When I called out Conor McGregor people thought I was crazy, and now I guarantee you he won't ever box me because I could beat him, and he knows that,” Paul said on Piers Morgan Uncensored.
“If I could beat Anderson Silva, who was bigger, stronger, faster, better striker, than a smaller guy, Conor McGregor is not going to want to fight me.”
Go ahead. Say you wouldn’t watch. We dare you.
And if you say no, we don’t believe you.
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This week’s title-fight schedule:
No title fights scheduled.
Last week's picks: 2-1 (WIN: Cordina, Mikaelyan; LOSS: Notshinga)
2023 picks record: 40-13 (75.5 percent)
Overall picks record: 1,291-421 (75.4 percent)
NOTE: Fights previewed are only those involving a sanctioning body's full-fledged title-holder – no interim, diamond, silver, etc. Fights for WBA "world championships" are only included if no "super champion" exists in the weight class.
Lyle Fitzsimmons has covered professional boxing since 1995 and written a weekly column for Boxing Scene since 2008. Reach him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter – @fitzbitz.