Jake Paul vs. Canelo Alvarez might actually happen and I’m into it

Canelo Alvarez vs. Jake Paul is too fun to turn down. Will it happen? Maybe. Just listen to what Canelo said about it.

By: Tim Bissell | 1 month ago
Jake Paul vs. Canelo Alvarez might actually happen and I’m into it
Jake Paul praying for a fight with Canelo Alvarez? IMAGO/Everett Collection

Canelo Alvarez vs. Jake Paul? Crazy idea, huh? But also… pretty fun. A year or two ago a fight between one of the best boxers on the planet and a social media celebrity was unthinkable. But times have changed.

Canelo Alvarez and Jake Paul have history

Jake Paul has been a main character in the world of combat sports for a couple of years now, thanks to his KOs of non boxers and the flashy promotion you’d expect from someone who made their name on YouTube and Instagram.

During the younger stage of Paul’s career, around the time he was beating Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley, the ‘Problem Child’ was calling out everyone as a method of hyping himself up and promoting his fights. He called for fights with Conor McGregor, Jorge Masvidal and, of course, Canelo Alvarez.

Alvarez responded to those initial call outs as you’d expect. It was a combination of “who the fook is that guy?” and “be careful what you wish for”.

Eventually, Alvarez learned who Jake Paul was an offered to take him on in sparring. Paul didn’t accept that and continued to chirp from afar. He went as far as to suggest that, given enough training time, he thought he could actually beat Canelo.

Paul has now beaten Anderson Silva and Nate Diaz (and lost to Tommy Fury, the only actual boxer he has ever faced). And his calls for a Canelo fight have gotten a little quiet.

But that doesn’t mean the potential for this spectacle has disappeared.

Canelo, of all people, offered a lifeline to this proposal when talking to The Breakfast Club.

Canelo Alvarez discusses Jake Paul during an appearance on The Breakfast Club.

Here’s what he said about possibly fighting Jake Paul (transcribed by my former BE colleague, Harry Davies over at The Mirror).

“Yeah maybe, but not right now. For me, not right now because I’m chasing other things in my career but you never know, maybe later. Yeah.”

Alvarez then said that after he was retired as a professional, he could see himself fighting Paul in some kind of exhibition.

Alvarez was of course clear in stating that there’s no way Paul could beat him. However, he did share some respect for what Paul has been doing in the world of cross-over boxing.

“My level is another level. But look, I think he needs to enjoy what he’s doing and that’s it, he needs to calm down and start calling out people at other levels. He’s doing good things, [fights with the likes of Nate Diaz], he needs to just enjoy that.”

Canelo vs. Paul would be a lot of fun

In a pro fight Canelo Alvarez would literally kill Jake Paul. I don’t think anyone who has actually watched fighting (which doesn’t include influencer match-ups) would argue that. It’s pretty obvious that Paul would get outclassed in an exhibition, too.

I have no desire to see Paul get folded in a pro bout, but in an exhibition, with Alvarez pulling his punches, but still showing Paul (and everyone else) how many levels exist between an elite pugilist and a hobby boxer with one punch… sign me up.

Boxing purists may not want Canelo to lower himself to fighting someone like Paul, but for the rest of us, it sounds kind of fun, no? Imagine the fireworks, the glitz, the glamour and, oh my god the web traffic, that would shroud such an event, even if it’s a glorified sparring session.

And given what else Canelo told the Breakfast Club, it might actually be something he can see the value in or, dare I say, enjoy.

“I don’t like boxing,” revealed Alvarez on that show. “I like business. I don’t like watching boxing. I like training and being involved in the fight and everything. But for business, I have other business to do. I don’t see myself in boxing.”

Fighting Paul would be a great business decision for Alvarez. Paul recently showed how much attention (and money he can bring in) with a washed MMA fighter who didn’t do a lick of promotion. Imagine what would happen opposite someone who knows how to actually sell a fight and whose name carries cache in both the boxing realm and mainstream culture.

Also, maybe a silly fight with Jake Paul, with no pressure or chance of getting hurt or embarrassed, would be more fun than the high risk fights he’s used to being involved in.

The fact that cross-over boxing has risen to be a serious player in the sports landscape also adds to the likelihood that this happens. When Paul beat Nate Robinson on the Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. undercard, celebrity boxing still felt like a fad.

But now, after Creator Clash, Kingpyn and Misfits Boxing, cross-over boxing is impossible to ignore. Whenever these events happen, BE gets more clicks than anything but the best UFC PPVs can deliver. Jake Paul’s last fight gave us our biggest night of traffic since we went independent in April. And Bryce Hall (of TikTok fame) fighting in BKFC outdrew 90% of what the UFC has given us this year (and everything any other MMA promotion has produced).

Saying Canelo is too big for this kind of thing may have been true a year or two ago. But just wait what happens after KSI and Logan Paul fight on their ‘Prime Card’ in October. Pretty soon, it’s going to feel like the biggest stars in boxing are being outshone by these kids with webcams and no shame.

I believe what Canelo said, in that this isn’t something we’re going to see any time soon, while he is still defending his undisputed titles. But in the future, I think there’s a great chance this will happen. And when it does, I’ll love every second of it.

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About the author
Tim Bissell
Tim Bissell

Tim Bissell is a writer, editor and deputy site manager for Bloody Elbow. He has covered combat sports since 2015. Tim covers news and events and has also written longform and investigative pieces. Among Tim's specialties are the intersections between crime and combat sports. Tim has also covered head trauma, concussions and CTE in great detail.

Tim is also BE's lead (only) sumo reporter. He blogs about that sport here and on his own substack, Sumo Stomp!

Email me at tim@bloodyelbow.com. Nice messages will get a response.

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