Following a career-defining victory over Andre August in the first round, his first win against a pro boxer, Paul is strategically navigating his boxing career by seeking out accolades in his opponents. In this case, he is set to face a Golden Gloves Champion in Bourland.
The goal is simple, build the skillset to become world champion. Next up is a guy who has twice as many professional fights under his belt than I do. Ryan “The Rhino” Bourland. And just like the animal in his bone chilling nickname… he is also endangered😂😅
On Saturday, March… pic.twitter.com/CzhHTx9tsC
— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) January 30, 2024
Bourland is not necessarily a threat or a heavy-hitter, with only 6 KOs to his name in 17 wins, but he has marketable accomplishments. In addition to his Golden Gloves championship, Bourland is also a former National Junior Olympics boxer. Paul’s trajectory has taken an interesting turn, initially starting with main events against former MMA fighters such as Ben Askren and former UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley.
He continued that rise until he faced his first pro boxer, Tommy Fury. After his split decision loss, he sought out 27-fight UFC veteran Nate Diaz to regroup. Following the Diaz win, Paul shifted the focus towards seeking out carefully-selected opponents who could offer him experience and be promoted through their boxing history. The choice of August summed that up as Paul justified the opponent by comparing August’s resume to his own.
Ask and I shall deliver. August has more KO’s than me, more wins than me, more experience than me, but I like to gamble. The path to world champ starts here. Just straight up boxing. pic.twitter.com/5AoXxPmAPj
— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) November 8, 2023
“Pound-for-pound, the great Terence Crawford fought a 9-14 opponent in his ninth fight. Canelo Alvarez fought an 0-1 opponent in his ninth fight and Gervonta Davis fought an opponent who had 31 losses in his ninth fight.
“Yes, you heard that right, for y’all to still be criticising me it just shows your own insecurities and that you are a hater, tweeting off of your mum’s WiFi, and if it’s not your mum’s I know for sure you split that bill with a roommate. But, with that said, Terence, Canelo and Gervonta didn’t have the world watching them in their ninth fight, however, I do,” Paul stated
The win over August saw Paul move away from headlining main events to building up his boxing resume. His fight with Bourland will be the co-main event attraction on the Serrano-Meinke undercard. Paul’s decision mirrors that of Mike Tyson, Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquaio. All three fighters had over 20 fights before they began headlining major events. Paul has switched that by headlining first, as he entered boxing with an established brand from being a YouTuber. Now he’s shifted his focus to pro boxing and to securing a world title shot.
“I’ve always said my goal is to become a world champion. I beat a pro boxer in December in the first round, someone who’s been boxing their entire life, and what did I do next? I went straight back to camp to get ready to face my next opponent, a professional boxer who has twice as many professional fights under his belt than I do. It’s a new year, it’s an even better me, and I’m facing an even more experienced, seasoned boxer,” Paul revealed
Social Media Response
Fair play solid opponent, better than 40 year old Fournier, better than Pineda and Swarmz
— Riker (@JoeRikerEvans) January 30, 2024
Respect the game
— JD Sharp (@imjdsharp) January 30, 2024
Mad respect to Jake!
— Luna 🌙 (@Lil_Luna_IRL) January 30, 2024