Jake Paul has been banging the drum about starting a fighters’ union almost since he first laced up his boxing gloves for the first time but he’s met plenty of resistance about the chances that he’ll ever be successful spearheading that cause.
Though there has been talk for years about creating a united combat sport, no one has managed to get enough fighters together to take an effective stand against promoters across mixed martial arts and boxing.
Paul defended why he thinks a fighters union is necessary to solve major issues like the huge pay gap that exists between top-tier athletes and the most prominent named boxers around the world.
” The fighters can unite,” Paul stated in an exclusive video. “We can. My ultimate goal is to create a fighters’ union. It needs to be done. It seems impossible and maybe it will be but that’s how.
” People say, “Jake! How are you going create a fighters’ union?” They’ll just shelf all the fighters in the fighters’ union.’ No, everyone comes together and we’re not fighting.”
The argument against Paul’s proposal for a fighters’ union is precisely what UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou raised when they started the discussion.
As he approaches free agency at the end of 2022, Ngannou understands the difficulty in standing up to an organization as large as the UFC, especially for fighters who don’t have the same kind of leverage that he possesses.
“They cannot come together,” Ngannou countered. It’s extremely complicated. Because financially if somebody has to rely on you to pay his bills because you’re controlling his wallet, how much he gets, and you can do whatever you want, of course he cannot stand up against you.
” How are you going feed these people? Because a lot of them after eight months, after eight weeks of training camp, after four months of not fighting, they’re broke.”
Ngannou makes a valid point because many fighters — even those competing in the UFC — often times live paycheck to paycheck based on how frequently they might be booked not to mention many others who still maintain a second job just to make ends meet.
That’s where Paul believes fighters at the top of the sport need to step up to help those at the bottom so a union could eventually help everybody equally.
“I’ll call upon the 10 biggest boxers, the 10 highest paid boxers and 10 highest paid people from the UFC,” Paul said. “Yo, why can you donate $200,000 to the union to help pay these fighters for the six months? You are so selfish. Floyd Mayweather. ‘Canelo’ [Alvarez], who makes $50 million a fight. ‘Canelo,’ you can’t donate $200,000 to this union? I’ll donate $500,000. I’ll donate $1 million so we can pay the fighters.
“I’m in for a million. You can raise even more. However, I believe the money that we invest in the union can be used to pay fighters not getting as much income from the interim .”
In this episode Paul and Ngannou discuss the ongoing debate about fighter pay. “The Predator,” a former UFC fighter, seeks greater compensation. They also talk about the possibility of pursuing outside interests like a possible showdown against Tyson Fury, which could lead to a huge, life-changing payday.
The full episode of Uninterrupted ‘The Shop’ drops on Friday at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT on YouTube as Paul and Ngannou are also joined by Maverick Carter as well as writer/comedian Amber Ruffin and musician Romeo Santos.