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Jake Paul: Tommy Fury rematch, Conor McGregor showdown… or could Canelo be an option? What next for the YouTuber-turned-fighter as he eyes a new challenge

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Just moments after brushing aside Nate Diaz in the boxing ring, Jake Paul was already plotting the next step of his unlikely journey as a professional fighter.

‘I want Nate in MMA,’ said Paul as he threw down the gauntlet for a showdown with Diaz in the Octagon. ‘I want more professional boxers and I want [Saul] Canelo [Alvarez].’

The YouTuber-turned-boxer’s aim to face Canelo, still considered by many as one of the top 10 pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, is as brave as it is far-fetched. And his apparent desire to cross over into Diaz’s world for an MMA contest is simply dangerous.

Yet, for a former Disney Channel star who has become one of boxing’s headline acts in little over three years, who’s to say he isn’t serious?

After successfully recovering from his defeat by Tommy Fury in February, Paul is back at his braggadocios best out of the ring and sizing up his next challenge – however big or small.

So who is he most likely to face in his next bout? Dailymail.com takes a look at the options on the table and how likely they are to happen.

Jake Paul returned to winning ways against UFC legend Nate Diaz in Dallas on Saturday night

Jake Paul returned to winning ways against UFC legend Nate Diaz in Dallas on Saturday night

So who could Paul face next? Dailymail.com takes a look at the potential options on the table

So who could Paul face next? Dailymail.com takes a look at the potential options on the table

Nate Diaz (MMA)

Having outclassed the UFC legend under boxing’s Queensberry rules, Paul claims he is now willing to enter the Octagon and lock horns with Diaz in a $10million MMA bout.

Though while it makes for a great soundbite, there would be little logic in the 26-year-old venturing into a new combat sport which poses entirely different threats and challenges.

After successfully getting back up and running in boxing, he would be risking a pretty gruesome defeat by stepping into the cage with Diaz, whose on-the-floor game will be vastly superior following almost two decades in the sport.

It was only 11 months ago that the 38-year-old choked out Tony Ferguson at UFC 279, and Paul would likely suffer a similar fate in quicker fashion.

With that in mind, he should steer clear of an MMA clash with Diaz at all costs. And deep down, he probably knows it.

CHANCES OF HAPPENING: 2/5

Paul claims he is prepared to face Diaz in MMA, but doing so would likely end badly for him

Paul claims he is prepared to face Diaz in MMA, but doing so would likely end badly for him

Tommy Fury

While he’s only had a short career so far, the one blotch on Paul’s otherwise-perfect résumé is his conclusive points loss against Fury – a defeat he will be desperate to avenge.

Before he can do so, however, Fury must first emerge unscathed from his exhibition bout against YouTube sensation KSI in October, with the two Brits set to collide at Manchester Arena.

For Fury, the younger brother of world heavyweight champion Tyson, victory over another online star would potentially leave him one more win away from thwarting the rise of YouTube boxing for good. A rematch with Paul would therefore be of interest to him.

A rematch with Tommy Fury would hand the YouTuber-turned-fighter a shot at revenge

A rematch with Tommy Fury would hand the YouTuber-turned-fighter a shot at revenge 

Fury inflicted the first defeat of Paul's newfound professional boxing career back in February

Fury inflicted the first defeat of Paul’s newfound professional boxing career back in February

There remains plenty of bad blood between the two, meaning a second encounter would once again be an easy sell. And in Paul’s case, can he really move on without at least attempting to settle the score with his arch-nemesis?

If Fury gets the better of KSI as expected in October, this rematch will make sense for both parties.

CHANCES OF HAPPENING: 4/5

KSI

Of course, there is also the possibility of KSI sparking an upset and succeeding where Paul failed in toppling Fury.

The latter will undoubtedly call for an immediate rematch if that astonishing outcome plays out, yet a KSI victory in October could also set up one of the highest-grossing events in boxing’s modern history.

The Misfits Boxing CEO, real name Olajide Olayinka Williams Olatunji, has been on a collision course with Paul ever since he got the better of his brother Logan in a professional contest back in 2019.

With a combined 44.5 million subscribers on YouTube, a meeting between KSI and Paul would quite simply blow up the internet and rake in astonishing pay-per-view numbers.

Fury is set to face another YouTube star, KSI (pictured), in an exhibition bout this October

Fury is set to face another YouTube star, KSI (pictured), in an exhibition bout this October

If KSI sparks an upset, a long-awaited showdown with online rival Paul could materialize

If KSI sparks an upset, a long-awaited showdown with online rival Paul could materialize

Even if KSI comes unstuck against Fury, a battle between the two beaten YouTubers could still make sense, though Paul would unlikely opt for it next with that potential rematch on the table.

CHANCES OF HAPPENING: 2/5

Conor McGregor

Paul has long talked up a clash with McGregor, and in recent months the two have gone back and forth with a host of insults on social media.

McGregor took aim at the American following his win over Diaz on Saturday night, labelling the fight ‘p*** and s*** in a ring’ after being left unimpressed with the action.

But his brutal assessment was water off a duck’s back for Paul, as in his post-fight press conference he hit back at the former two-weight UFC champion – who is currently facing charges of sexual assault – by telling him to go to rehab.

‘I don’t care about that guy.’ Paul said when asked about facing McGregor. ‘He needs to go to rehab.’

Conor McGregor has exchanged plenty of insults with Paul in recent months, but is expected to face Michael Chandler next

Conor McGregor has exchanged plenty of insults with Paul in recent months, but is expected to face Michael Chandler next

While he shut it down in the aftermath of his latest victory, Paul knows that a battle against McGregor in the boxing ring would generate huge interest; with the online king taking on a fighter who remains one of the biggest draws in combat sports.

The only issue preventing Paul and McGregor from meeting next is the latter’s proposed MMA encounter with Michael Chandler, which is expected to go ahead in early 2024.

Though with no official date penciled in for that fight, McGregor’s head could be turned by a more lucrative offer from boxing’s new kid on the block.

CHANCES OF HAPPENING: 2.5/5 

Canelo Alvarez 

An MMA fight with Diaz is a dangerous proposition but not out of the realms of possibility. A boxing encounter with Canelo, however, is both perilous and unfeasible.

The Mexican still has unfinished business as a serious professional athlete before a less competitive exhibition-style bout with Paul would even come into his thinking.

Paul's ambition to lock horns with Canelo Alvarez is brave and far-fetched in equal measure

Paul’s ambition to lock horns with Canelo Alvarez is brave and far-fetched in equal measure

Firstly, he is set to defend his undisputed super-middleweight titles against Jermell Charlo in September, a test he is expected to pass given the undisputed light-middleweight champion is jumping up two weight divisions.

And should he prevail in that one, Canelo will undoubtedly turn his attention to a rematch with light-heavyweight master Dmitry Bivol – the only man to get the better of him in the last decade.

As a result, the chances of Canelo brushing aside a shot at revenge against Bivol to entertain a fight with a social-media personality are extremely slim – if not impossible.

CHANCES OF HAPPENING: 0.5/5