Jake Paul, Francis Ngannou disagree on the viability of a fighters’ union in boxing and MMA

Jake Paul has been drumming on creating a fighters’ union almost since he first laced up his boxing gloves, but has met a lot of resistance about the chances of him ever succeeding in spearheading that cause.

Talk of creating a union in combat sports has been going on for years, but to date, no one has managed to successfully unite a large enough number of fighters to take a meaningful stand when it comes to promoters and fighting organizations. boxing and mixed martial arts.

In a candid conversation from the latest episode of the Sports Emmy Award-winning series The store From LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s Uninterrupted, Paul argued why he believes a fighters’ union is the only solution to fix major problems like the huge pay gap between the top athletes in a promotion like the UFC versus the biggest name boxers of the world.

“Fighters can unite,” Paul said in an exclusive clip. “We can. My ultimate goal is to create a union of fighters. It has to be done. It seems impossible and maybe it is but it is.

“People say, ‘Jake, how are you going to create a wrestlers union? They will kill all the fighters in the fighters union. No, they all come together and we’re not fighting.”

The argument against Paul’s idea of ​​a fighters union is exactly what the UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou mentioned when the discussion began.

As he nears free agency in late 2022, Ngannou understands the difficulty of going up against an organization as big as the UFC, especially for fighters who don’t have the same kind of clout that he does.

“They can’t join,” Ngannou replied. “It’s very complicated. Because financially, if someone has to depend on you to pay their bills because you control their wallet, how much they earn and you can do whatever you want, of course they can’t oppose you.

“How are you going to feed those people? Because a lot of them after eight months, after eight weeks of training camp, after four months without fighting, they’re broke.”

Ngannou has a valid point because many fighters, even those who compete in the UFC, often live paycheck to paycheck based on how often they can be hired, not to mention many others who still hold down a second job just to get there. at the end of the month.

That’s where Paul believes the fighters at the top of the sport need to step up to help those at the bottom so that a union can finally help everyone equally.

“I will call the 10 greatest fighters, the 10 highest paid fighters and the 10 highest paid people in the UFC,” Paul said. “Hey, why can you donate $200,000 to the union to help pay these fighters for the six months? Are you so selfish? Floyd Mayweather. ‘cinnamon’ [Alvarez], who earns $50 million per fight. Canelo, can’t you donate $200,000 to this union? I will donate $500,000. I will donate $1 million so we can pay the fighters.

“I’m in a million. I can raise more than that. But I’m saying that the money we put into the union can help pay fighters who don’t get paid as much in the meantime.”

During the episode, Paul and Ngannou also discuss the long-standing debate over fighter pay as “The Predator” seeks better compensation from the UFC, not to mention the freedom to pursue outside interests, such as a potential showdown with Tyson Fury. that could gain a massive life. -payday change in one night.

The full episode of Uninterrupted ‘The Shop’ drops in Friday at 12pm ET/9am PT on YouTube As Paul and Ngannou also join Maverick Carter, as well as writer/comedian Amber Ruffin and musician Romeo Santos.

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