Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis says he’s open to taking a boxing match and fighting YouTuber-turner-boxer Jake Paul.
Pettis recently completed the final fight of his UFC contract and decided to sign with PFL, where he will get a chance to compete in the promotion’s season three lightweight tournament and win a $1 million grand prize. Now that Pettis is no longer with the UFC, he’s hoping to do things that he wasn’t able to earlier in his career. One of those things is stepping into the boxing ring.
Speaking to TMZ Sports, Pettis indicated a desire to box, and he pointed out Paul as a potential opponent. The YouTuber has been connected to a boxing match against Pettis’ long-time teammate at Roufusport, Ben Askren, and Pettis says that he could also see himself fighting Paul at some point as well.
“Bro, I would love to box. I haven’t boxed yet, so I’m 0-0. Boxing’s something I grew up watching my whole life. That’s why I got into fighting, honestly. Watching Chavez, De La Hoya, Mayweather, all these guys (while I was) up and coming,” Pettis said.
“But man, (Paul) looked good against another professional athlete. Nate didn’t look like he shouldn’t have been in here, honestly. I’m like, ‘Yo, like did he get any sparring sessions in?’ Honestly, did anyone not show him how to get into a stance? Like he’s just running at him. But I respect him for getting in that ring, bro. Everybody has this talk like, ‘Yo I can fight, if I get in there I can do this.’ It takes a special person to actually get in there and try that sh*t man. We see what happens when you’re not prepared.”
While many fighters and even UFC president Dana White have bashed Jake Paul and his brother Logan, Pettis said he gives them credit for training hard.
“I think he’s definitely getting better. He prepared for a boxing match, so you could tell he was in boxing shape. He was in a stance, at least. But it’s going to be interesting to see how far he can go with it. He’s definitely an athlete. You look at both of the brothers, they’re definitely in good shape and they stay in good shape. It’s not like they’re two couch potatoes jumping in there against professional athletes. They definitely train the part,” Pettis said.
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