Jake Paul plans to lure Conor McGregor into a boxing match by first “embarrassing” McGregor’s long-time rival Nate Diaz.
Paul, who became a celebrity on YouTube, is gearing up for an eight-round professional boxing match with former ONE and Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren. While that challenge is currently occupying most of his focus, he’s made it very clear that he wants to fight McGregor down the road.
McGregor has expressed disinterest in that possibility thus far, but Paul hopes to change his mind by beating Diaz.
“I still think there’s the McGregor fight,” Paul told MMA Junkie. “Nate Diaz said he’s down to fight me. We’ll see what happens. I’m excited. This is just the start of an illustrious career. Ben Askren just happens to be the first on the list.
“People are going to see,” Paul continued. “They’re going to be surprised, and it’s going to be hard for me to get a fight after this, to be honest. It really is. People are going to see my performance and say, ‘Let’s really second guess ourselves here because, do we want to lose to the Disney channel actor, boxer kid?”
Diaz and McGregor have fought twice previously, both times at welterweight in 2016. Diaz won the first fight by second-round submission, and McGregor evened the score with a majority decision win in their immediate rematch.
Paul believes he’ll probably end up fighting Diaz first, and if he’s able to pick up an impressive win, that McGregor might be coaxed into accepting a boxing match with him thereafter.
“I think Nate Diaz will probably happen first,” Paul said. “I think Conor needs to get some wins under his belt. Conor is owned by Dana White. Conor is Dana White’s (expletive), so he has to get Dana White’s approval. Nate Diaz only has two more fights in the UFC (on his contract), so if he can complete those and he’s freed up then Nate Diaz vs. Jake Paul will happen in 2022. Those are sort of the talks that are happening right now.
“Once I beat Nate Diaz, once I embarrass him actually, I will be undeniable to McGregor because I will say, ‘Hey, bubba. Listen to me, guy, you little Irish guy: I beat the guy who beat you. So you have to fight me.’ That’s why this is so exciting,” Paul added. “It’s one step at a time. It’s one fight at a time. I still have a major milestone ahead of me April 17, and like I said, though, this is the start of an illustrious career. Ten years from now I’ll be coming to watch these interviews, and I’ll be like, ‘Damn, this kid was a little evil genius, predicting all of this.”
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