Nowadays, it seems like everyone is after a piece of Jake Paul because facing him in an exhibition boxing match means having a huge payday.
Uriah Hall, who recently left the UFC, will face three-time NFL Pro Bowl running back Le'Veon Bell on October 29 which will be both men's first professional boxing contest. The fight between the YouTube sensation Jake Paul and former MMA champion Anderson Silva will serve as the event's main attraction. The main event will take place in Phoenix's Footprint Center.
Hall surprisingly triggered Silva's UFC retirement after defeating him in the fourth round of their main event match at UFC Fight Night 181 just two years earlier. Both guys are now participating in a boxing match under the same card, and Hall is interested in Silva's upcoming opponent for the foreseeable future.
In a pre-fight press conference on Thursday, Hall was questioned about his decision to compete in professional boxing again after only three months of retirement from MMA. He stated:
“Fight Jake Paul,” Hall responded. “… I’m a competitor, man. This is a different stage. I’ve boxed before. Actually, a long time ago I did some amateur boxing. I said, ‘Listen, pique my interest to do something like this.’ My coach did, so I was like, alright, I’ll do it. I’m a competitor.”
After losing to Andre Muniz by a unanimous decision at UFC 276 in MMA, Hall announced his retirement from the sport. With 19 fights in the UFC and his second consecutive defeat, he decided to retire. But when he got the chance to fight Bell, who in September defeated another ex-NFL running back Adrian Peterson in an amateur match, his competitive spirit erupted.
If Paul defeats Bell, Hall cites a recent online conversation and a challenge against a fighter who is popular in the boxing world as the reasons why Paul is on his radar.
“It’s exciting,” Hall said. “We had some online exchange a long time ago and I just want to show him what a real fight is. I mean, it’s boxing. I feel personally I can beat any boxer in the world. All I gotta do is kick ’em. That’s a real fight. But I’ve been in boxing gyms before where I’ve tried to learn stuff, a long time ago before I tamed my ego.
Although Jake Paul gets highly criticized for not facing a professional boxer, he remains in demand due to the big paycheck factor. But The Problem Child has sharpened his abilities and enters the ring as a favorite.
Hall isn't exactly willing to make his payment for the fight public, but it doesn't seem like he has any issues with the money he will be paid for it. There has been much discussion over the years concerning the imbalance in pay between top boxers and the biggest champions in a promotion like the UFC. Jake Paul has strongly opposed fighter compensation in the UFC and has frequently engaged in debates with Dana White, the organization's president, about the issue. Hall expressed when asked about the pay in boxing:
“You don’t have to go too much into details but I know people that are making [$10,000 to show, $10,000 to win], which is ridiculous. Cause you’re going out there and fighting and you’re putting your brain cells on the line and f****** ring card girls are making $70,000, which is utterly f****** ridiculous. So yeah, there’s some s*** that’s just not going down but compared to this it’s OK. You know your worth as you get older in your career, I think, especially when you put a lot on the line for it and some people feel like they deserve more. At one point, I felt like I deserved more and I had to fight for that.”