Paul signals ‘next step’ in career with vicious KO

Boxing

Jake Paul scored a first-round, highlight-reel knockout of Andre August on Friday night in Orlando, Florida, to signal the second act of his boxing career as he looks to establish himself as a cruiserweight title contender.

Paul (8-1, 5 KOs) uncorked a right uppercut that caught August clean and bounced him off the canvas headfirst. The referee waved the bout off with 28 seconds remaining in the opening round.

“Set up my shot and he went night night,” said Paul, who was accompanied by his brother Logan Paul, WWE’s United States champion. “This is all part of the process, the next step to world champion. Clearly these guys can’t hang with me.”

Paul’s first six fights were crossover events against former MMA fighters. His seventh was his first loss, a decision defeat to Tommy Fury, the brother of heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.

Friday night’s bout indicated a shift in direction, a matchup meant to gain seasoning for Paul rather than prominence as he looks to campaign for a 200-pound belt.

August (10-2-1, 5 KOs) returned in August to score a decision in a six-round fight to end a nearly four-year layoff. The 35-year-old represented Paul’s most experienced foe yet.

“Right now, I’m focused on being the best in the world and creating one of the greatest sports stories in the history of sports: being able to become a world champion from Disney Channel,” Paul said. “Now I’m lasered in.”

Crews-Dezurn upsets Green

Franchon Crews-Dezurn upset Shadasia Green to regain the WBC super middleweight title in the co-feature. The scores were 98-92, 97-93 and 97-93.

Crews-Dezurn (9-2, 2 KOs) and Green (13-1, 11 KOs) were fighting for the 168-pound title that became available after the injured Savannah Marshall was named champion-in-recess.

Baltimore’s Crews-Dezurn, 36, entered the bout rated No. 3 by ESPN at 168 pounds while New Jersey’s Green, 34, was No. 2.

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