It’s official. Boxing YouTuber and social media influencer Jake Paul will be taking on UFC legend Nate Diaz in a boxing match Aug. 5 at American Airlines Center in Dallas. The eight round pay-per-view bout, to be broadcast worldwide by DAZN, will be contested at 185 lbs.
“Besides Canelo, he’s the biggest thing in boxing,” the 37-year-old Diaz said in a statement issued to media. “I’m here to conquer that. I’m the king of combat sports, and then I’m headed back to get my UFC belts. I f**ked up Conor [McGregor] for acting out and now here I am again, like a super hero of the Real Fight game, the king of the Real Fight game.”
This will be a comeback fight of sorts for the 26-year-old Jake Paul, who lost his first professional boxing match this past February in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia to Tommy Fury via split decision.
“My last fight didn’t end the way I wanted, but the result was the best thing that could have happened to my professional boxing aspirations,” Paul said. “Now the world thinks I am vulnerable, when all I am is more focused than ever. My team wanted me to take an easy fight like KSI next, but that’s not how I am built. Nate Diaz is considered one of the most bad-a** fighters of all time, but he and his team have been running their mouths for too long.
“People tell me Nate has been training with Andre Ward for years, that he has insane stamina, that he refuses to back down. Good for f**king Nate. I haven’t forgotten about the slap backstage in Arizona [an incident in October where Diaz reportedly struck a member of Paul’s entourage backstage before Paul’s bout with Anderson Silva], and on August 5th, a ‘Problem Child’ is going to piece up and knock out the ‘Stockton G.’”
Diaz last competed in the UFC Octagon in September of 2022, forcing Tony Ferguson to submit. His biggest career win came in 2016 when he submitted a prime Conor McGregor. Diaz’s training work in boxing is well known and he has reportedly worked with the likes of Andre Ward and Regis Prograis, among others.
The respective promotional companies involved in the bout [Paul’s Most Valuable Promotions and Diaz’s Real Fight Inc.] also had plenty to say about what appears to be a no-brainer pay-per-view success coming up.
“Jake’s star power and popularity continue to command massive audiences worldwide,” Most Valuable Promotions co-founder Nakisa Bidarian said in a media statement. “His most recent bout, Paul vs. Fury, surpassed more than 800,000 pay-per-view purchases and was a commercial success for all our partners. Jake remains one of the most avidly followed fighters in the sport and all eyes are on him, wondering what’s next. Well, what’s next is one of the most vicious men ever in the cage.”
On the other side of the deal, Nate Diaz’s people were equally as enthusiastic.
“Nate’s departure from the UFC made him the most sought-after free agent in combat sports history with all eyes looking to see what his next move would be,” Real Fight Inc. president Zach Rosenfield said in that same statement issued to media. “In choosing to make his boxing debut against Jake Paul, Nate found an opponent where there is an organic, non-scripted backstory that motivates him and will clearly capture the excitement of audiences throughout the world.”
Critics and cynics can (and will) dismiss this Paul vs. Diaz pairing, but given the high-profile appeal of both fighters, this should be a big revenue generator with a high pay-per-view buy rate.