Jake and Logan Paul have gotten a mixed bag of feedback from fans and fighters alike ever since both brothers revived the cottage industry of celebrity boxing.
Count Conor McGregor as one of the stars who support YouTubers, entertainers and social media personalities in their quests to cross over into the ring.
“As they say, if it makes dollars, it makes sense,” McGregor told Bloomberg. “I know [UFC president] Dana [White] and the UFC are not really into it, but I’m not so against it. I think if people are willing to get in and take the risk of making that walk, I’m certainly a viewer.
“If they are fighting well then it can’t make a mockery of fighting. They’re getting in and competing. I am not so much against it … Am I into those competitions myself? You know it’s not the most high-level — if any level — at that stage.”
McGregor (22-5 MMA; 20 stoppages; 0-1 boxing) dealt with some similar scorn himself when he made his pro boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2017.
Although the matchup did not make sense from a competitive or matchup standpoint, it made much dollars and sense once all the financial figures were tabulated, as the event generated 4.3 million domestic PPV buys and $600 million.
The polarizing Paul brothers, meanwhile, bring a unique value proposition to the table with the Gen Z audiences they attract, making them viable dance partners for pros who are looking for handsome paydays.
Mayweather will fight Logan in an exhibition match on Feb. 20 on Fanmio PPV, and Jake will be headlining a Triller PPV show on April 17 against a professional fighter still to be named.
Jake has also been calling out McGregor for a boxing match.
The 32-year-old Irishman has not entirely shut down the idea of fighting Paul.
“That is what it is,” McGregor told BT Sport. “We’ll see what happens. That’s it. He seems like a confused little kid to me, to be honest. Now, he’s willing to get in, so we don’t know what’ll happen. It’s not on the radar at the minute with the young lad. I know him and Dillon [Danis] have been back and forth, so you never know. But I’m excited to see. Fair play to them.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com