Jake Paul stops Ryan Bourland via first-round TKO

Jake Paul’s critics wanted him to fight actual boxers. He now has knocked out two of them in a row inside the first round.

The YouTuber-turned-prizefighter stopped Ryan Bourland via TKO at 2:37 of the first on Saturday night in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Paul used a nice jab early and hard right hands to the body. That set up a big combination that hurt Bourland against the ropes. Paul then poured it on until referee Luis Pabon stopped the bout.

Paul, who lives and trains in Puerto Rico, had the crowd with him. His adopted nickname is “El Gallo de Dorado,” and he walked out in a rooster outfit. The fans were chanting “Gallo” during the entrance and the first round.

“I wanted it to be a little longer to give the fans some more time,” Paul said in his postfight interview. “I’m just so happy to be in Puerto Rico. Y’all show mad love.”

Paul was coming off a first-round knockout of Andre August — a similar yet less experienced journeyman opponent to Bourland — in December.

Paul outlanded Bourland 24-3.

“I guess we just got to step it up even way more,” Paul said. “I’m ready for the big leagues. I’m getting sharp. This is my life now.”

When asked whom he wanted to fight next, Paul said he didn’t want to mention any names. But he did propose one: Canelo Alvarez.

“Hey, Canelo, stop ducking,” Paul said. “I know you want it. I’m repping Puerto Rico; you’re repping Mexico. So, it’s Puerto Rico versus Mexico.”

Paul (9-1, 6 KOs) has won three straight after his first career loss to Tommy Fury in February 2023. The Ohio native rebounded from that defeat by beating UFC legend Nate Diaz in August via unanimous decision. Paul, 27, also owns victories over former UFC champions Anderson Silva and Tyron Woodley. (Paul actually defeated Woodley twice, including once by knockout.)

Bourland (17-3), a 35-year-old California native, had a three-fight winning streak snapped.

Since the Diaz fight, Paul has pivoted to a more traditional boxing trajectory in terms of opponents who will have him gain experience with an eye toward one day competing for a title.

“If a money fight pops up, I’ll take it, because those are fun,” Paul said. “For now, I’m staying on the path of fighting real fighters and increasing the level of competition.”

First appeared on www.espn.com

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