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Five fights into his professional boxing career, Jake Paul has proven that he can draw eyeballs and attention to the sport. He's also produced some highlight-reel knockouts, if against a questionable level of opposition.

Paul most recently fought in a rematch with former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, scoring a brutal one-punch knockout that left Woodley down and out for minutes after the fight.

Given the level of attention he brings to his fights, there has never been a shortage of fighters, athletes and other celebrities claiming they want a shot at the social media superstar. It appears that Paul is ready to finally strike down any criticism that he hasn't yet faced "a real boxer" during his pugilistic career.

With that in mind, let's take a look at the status of Jake Paul's career and what could be next for one of the sport's most controversial stars.

When will Jake Paul fight "a real boxer"?

It's worth remembering that Paul did attempt to face someone with actual boxing training and real, verifiable wins in boxing for his last fight. Tommy Fury pulled out of the fight late, leaving Paul to find a replacement for the brother of heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury. That led to the rematch with Tyron Woodley, which Paul won with a shockingly brutal knockout. Fury ticked the boxes that people have asked for of a Paul opponent, though represented a certain type of 7-0 record in the sport, with his seven professional opponents having a combined record of 14-175-5. Clearly, had Paul won that fight, it would not have done much to quiet the doubters.

Still, a fight with Fury remains a possibility, as does a fight with former middleweight world champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. In a recent interview, Paul said he liked the Chavez fight because he believed he could win and that it would silence a lot of critics.

As for Fury? Paul said, "I said it before, I don't want to take the fight with him. He doesn't deserve it. I'd rather fight Tyson. I'll fight his brother or his dad before I fight Tommy."

Where things stand with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Paul is interested in making the fight happen and Chavez has expressed interest as well. There have been talks that offers have been made and if both sides have interest, it's a compelling fight on a number of levels. Both men have big personalities that have made them controversial figures. Chavez has been a bit of a disaster as a professional and Paul comes from the disaster world of social media influencers. Still, it's actually hard to say the YouTuber isn't the more dedicated professional boxer in 2022 compared to Chavez, who constantly finds ways to disappoint and damage his family legacy.

It's also worth remembering that Chavez is not above taking something of a circus fight. He fought former UFC champion Anderson Silva in June 2021, clearly losing the fight to Silva, though somehow managing to secure one of the three official scorecards to only lose by split decision. That vulnerability combined with being a former world champion likely makes Chavez extra appealing as an opponent for Paul.

What other names could be on the table?

Tommy Fury: Despite Paul's posturing that he doesn't want to give Fury the opportunity or payday, especially after Fury pulled out the first time around, there's interest and money in the fight. Those are two things Paul thrives on. If Chavez falls through, Fury is the best option.

Conor McGregor and Jorge Masvidal: To be clear, any fighters under UFC contract are not up for any real consideration, even if their names are brought up over and over. Paul loves to throw big UFC names out because he knows the UFC and president Dana White will not allow it while also knowing it really gets under White's skin to score some clean verbal shots. Still, we're going to see all sides continue to talk about these fights that simply aren't going to happen.

Expected date to return

While there's no official date -- or opponent -- set for Paul's next fight, he has been fighting roughly once every four to five months. That would place him in the ring next in April or May.

Is there any chance Paul fights for the UFC?

There is a roughly zero percent chance Paul sets foot in a UFC Octagon without leaving in handcuffs and a charge of trespassing. Paul has talked a big game about fighting in the UFC, but most of that is bluster to continue getting under White's skin. That includes Paul's offer to retire from boxing and join the UFC to fight Masvidal if the UFC blows up their entire pay structure.

Paul's push for higher fighter pay in the UFC has made him something of a folk hero for many MMA fans but that crusade, combined with his brutal verbal shots at White, have blown up any chance of ever seeing Paul enter the Octagon.