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Sonny Bill Williams says YouTube sensation Jake Paul hasn't watched up to date footage of him fighting, after the social media star listed Williams as a potential future opponent.
Paul's exploits in the boxing ring, alongside those of his brother Logan, have attracted outsized viewership, with Paul still fresh from a knockout victory over former UFC fighter Tyrone Woodley in December.
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Since then, the famous YouTuber has been looking to land his next five and improve his 5-0 record - and the former NRL and rugby enforcer topped Paul's list.
Speaking to The Fight podcast with legendary trainer Teddy Atlas, Paul dropped Williams name alongside a number of former world champions, including undefeated boxing legend Floyd Mayweather and former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping.
When asked who he might next take on in the ring, Paul replied: ""Floyd Mayweather, Oscar De La Hoya, Anderson Silva, Michael Bisping, Tommy Fury, Sonny Williams out of Australia."
While some opponents are less likely than others, Williams stands out as a potentially good match for Paul.
"There's a lot of people on the hit list and some other names that we're talking to. Just trying to pick the biggest opponent," Paul said.
"Everyone I've fought I've carried the promotion, nobody has matched my star power so I'm looking for someone who can match my star power - we might fight in Australia, America or the UAE."
Williams was amused to be included on the list but stopped short of antagonising Paul when he posted about the interview on Twitter, jokingly suggesting it would be Paul's 'first loss'.
Looks like I’m on the hit list 🥴
I’m not gonna hate on this guy at all as I respect what he’s done. I also really respect his skillset as a boxer. But if he wants some he can get it! @jakepaul Yours respectfully - your first loss 🥊✊🏽 pic.twitter.com/wuGpZsyWD8
— Sonny Bill Williams (@SonnyBWilliams) April 14, 2022
Nevertheless, in a follow up interview with the Sun Herald, Williams said he could forsee a future in which the fight went ahead.
“If he does decide to take that fight, he would have underestimated me quite a bit by watching old footage, old fights,” he said.
“I feel in the last six months I’ve improved tenfold, so it’s the confidence I have in my ability.
“It would probably be a catchweight fight, I’d probably have to drop under 100kg. I know he sits at around 95-96kg, so that could work.
“He’s a powerful athlete and I’m exactly the same, except a bigger version, a taller version, a longer-limbed version. I’m just as good on my feet, if not better than he is.”
Sonny Bill Williams talks up Jake Paul's boxing skills
While many opponents, potential or otherwise, have sought to ridicule the Paul brothers for their attempts to break into the boxing world, Williams says he has actually been lieft impressed.
He said that rather than buy into the sideshow aspect of Paul's boxing career, the work the YouTube star had put in actually left him impressed.
“The beauty of this fight, if it is to come to fruition, is I respect how Jake Paul has gone about things in the boxing ring,” Williams said.
“He’s put his head down and his a**e up, he’s worked hard.
“You can see the improvements he’s made in the last three years, I actually rate his boxing skills and prowess in the ring.
“It would be a great fight if it happened, but at the same time I’ve got a lot of options out there as well.”
A potential fight between the pair would generate massive interest in Australia and New Zealand, however, weight could be a major stumbling block.
Paul has previously fought at cruiserweight (90.7kg), while Williams weighed in at 109kg for his recent heavyweight victory against AFL great Barry Hall.
Paul doesn't currently have an upcoming fight scheduled, but has been pushing for a bout against multiple-weight world champion, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez by 2024.
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