HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – In alphabetical order, Canelo Alvarez, Oscar De La Hoya and Jake Paul are the three names Vitor Belfort says he wants to fight next, but it’s clear who’s really at the top of that list.
“Jake Paul is the No. 1 target,” Belfort told MMA Junkie on Saturday night. “He’s got to meet his daddy. It’s time for him to understand you’re not judged by how many fights you have, it’s who you fight. Now he wants a real fighter? He’s got it. We got the money.”
Belfort, the former UFC light heavyweight champion, made an aggressive callout of Paul moments after his easy first-round TKO win over 58-year-old boxing legend Evander Holyfield. When he got on the microphone, Belfort shouted at the top of his lungs, challenging the YouTuber-turned-professional boxer to a fight.
Paul, who has millions of social media followers, has made a name for himself in boxing this year on the heels of wins over two MMA standouts, with a knockout of Ben Askren and most recently a split decision against ex-UFC champ Tyron Woodley last month.
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If Paul, 24, doesn’t have any interest in fighting Belfort next, that might change after the numbers that were thrown around during Belfort’s post-fight interview. Triller chief Ryan Kavanaugh announced a price of $30 million – winner takes all.
“How can (he) say no to that?” Belfort said. He continued, “Now he cannot say no to me. He’s gotta say yes. We’ve gotta teach him a lesson.
“If he says no, all his little fans, I’m gonna create a YouTube channel, and they’re gonna follow me. I’m gonna create a YouTube channel. I have three amazing athletes (his kids) in my house. We’re gonna entertain all his fans. He doesn’t have morals. He doesn’t have family values. He doesn’t represent the fighters.”
Paul, who was once a Disney Channel actor, has spoken seriously about his boxing career. He’s also been a vocal advocate for better fighter pay, particularly engaging in a war of words with UFC president Dana White.
Belfort, however, isn’t necessarily buying what he believes could be just an act and ultimately would like to put a hurting on Paul.
“He’s just getting the attention, and someone has to give him a whip. That’s me,” 44-year-old Belfort said. “I’m his father. I’m gonna put him on my lap. He’s gonna meet daddy, big daddy. … I promise you. ‘Big daddy,’ that’s what he’s gonna call me.”
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