Jake Paul, one of the most polarizing up-and-coming stars in boxing, has a new home.
The YouTuber-turned-prizefighter has a deal in place for his next boxing match to be distributed by Showtime Sports, Paul’s adviser Nakisa Bidarian told ESPN on Wednesday. Paul’s team and Showtime are in advanced talks about the potential opponent, date and location, Bidarian said. A network source confirmed the news.
Paul had previously been associated with the upstart Triller Fight Club.
Paul, who built a following doing comedic videos and music on social media, is just 3-0 as a pro boxer but has emerged as a lightning rod in the sport — and a legitimate draw. His last bout, against UFC veteran Ben Askren in April, was one of the most talked about pay-per-view cards of the year, under the Triller banner. Paul won by TKO in the first round, his third straight stoppage victory.
Showtime, as a boxing broadcast partner, has boasted fighters such as Floyd Mayweather and Gervonta Davis, as well as Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao in prior years. Showtime also airs Bellator MMA. Sources told ESPN that Showtime’s deal with Paul is for more than one fight.
Paul, 24, signing with Showtime would be a step toward further legitimacy with regards to his boxing career. While Paul is undefeated, he has yet to compete against an opponent who has had any professional boxing experience previously. Paul stopped fellow YouTuber AnEsonGib in his pro debut in January 2020 and then knocked out former NBA player Nate Robinson in November 2020.
“Jake is proud of the events he participated in with Triller and appreciates the opportunities they afforded him,” Bidarian told ESPN. “Jake is excited to continue his boxing career with Showtime Boxing. Fight announcement coming soon.”
While having success in the ring, Paul has created a spectacle on social media — much like his YouTube roots. Earlier this month, Paul got into a verbal confrontation with Mayweather and stole Mayweather’s hat off his head, leading to Mayweather and his security team roughing up Paul. The whole thing was captured on video, and Paul leveraged it on social media. He’s now selling merchandise with the phrase “Gotcha Hat” on his website.
In addition, Paul has called out the likes of Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz in social media videos. He has verbally sparred with UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and former UFC double champion Daniel Cormier, who confronted Paul in person at UFC 261 last month in Jacksonville. That night, the crowd chanted “F— Jake Paul!” during main-card bouts.
Paul had been saying on social media that he was a free agent, which caught many by surprise because he had been so tied in with Triller Fight Club’s brand, appearing on both of the promotion’s big cards. Ryan Kavanaugh, the CEO of Triller parent company Proxima Media, told ESPN on Wednesday that his promotion was moving forward without Paul.
“We love Jake,” Kavanaugh said. “I wish Jake the absolute best. We had our two fights with him. … I think for us, we’ve gone the distance with him that we can go. We won’t be doing any more Jake fights.”
Paul’s brother Logan is competing with Mayweather in an exhibition boxing match June 6 in Miami, which is being produced and distributed by Showtime PPV.