Jake Paul dives into future plans on eve of his next fight, dismisses risk of losing focus

Corrections and clarifications: Javon "Wanna'' Walton made his pro debut in December in the Dominican Republic. An earlier version of this story misstated when his first pro fight was.

On Thursday, Jake Paul attended at a news conference largely designed to promote his fight Saturday night against Ryan Bourland in Puerto Rico. But at times the cruiserweight bout scheduled for eight rounds seemed like an afterthought.

With his opponent mostly looking on in silence, Paul talked about a possible fight in India ("That’s something that excites me," he said); a desire to get in the Octagon ("I want to be one of the first boxers in the height of their career to transfer over and do a massive, massive MMA fight," he said); and the possibility of forming a WWE tag-team partnership with his brother, Logan ("Honestly, like, who would stop us?" he asked).

At one point, Paul said things are moving too fast for him to wrap his head around his ascent and the unfolding of a multifaceted career.

"It’s all very, very surreal," he said.

Paul later told USA TODAY Sports there’s no risk of his getting dangerously distracted before fighting the likes of Bourland (17-2, 6 KO’s), albeit a journeyman.

"You only set your own limitations in your mind," Paul said. "If I truly believe I can do all of these things, then I can. And there’s no such things in believing in burnout or too much. … So I’m not worried about that and that’s why my legacy is going to be different than everyone else’s."

Jake Paul takes Ryan Bourland's hat

Reminiscent of the day he snatched Floyd Mayweather’s hat and incited mayhem, Paul snatched the hat off Bourland’s head during their faceoff and tossed it into the crowd.

Unlike Mayweather, who was irate when Paul pulled the stunt during a news conference to promote Mayweather’s fight against Logan Paul in 2021, Bourland merely grinned as his bald head was exposed.

When asked to assess Paul’s progress as a boxer, Bourland said, "I feel like he’s getting better and better and I’m just excited to get in there and show the world what I got on Saturday."

Paul, coming off a first-round knockout of Andre August on Dec. 15, sent mixed messages when asked about Bourland.

"I want to put on tough fights and I need to get experience on my path to world champion and he’s got 19 fights," Paul said. "He’s a very accomplished and experienced veteran in the sport, so I need to challenge myself."

But Paul also said, "Beating Andre August without taking one punch, I thought he was going to give me some rounds, so I was like, 'All right, let’s just get a guy (Bourland) with twice as many fights, twice as many accolades, put him in the ring and let’s see what happens. …

"So maybe he’ll land one punch instead of half of a punch that Andre landed."

Compelling storylines on the card

On the dais, Paul sat between Amanda Serrano and Javon "Wanna" Walton – compelling boxers on the Saturday night card.

The women’s unified featherweight champion, Serrano (46-2-1, 30 KO’s) will be featured in the main event in her home country of Puerto Rico against Nina Meinke (18-3, 4 KO’s). (Paul will be fighting in what’s being billed as the co-main event.)

"I’m mentally and physically ready to put on a great show," Serrano said.

The 17-year-old Walton, a featured member of the cast on HBO’s hit show "Euphoria," will fight 32-year-old Joshua Torres (0-1-1) in what's being billed as Walton's "global'' pro debut. Walton made his official pro debut Dec. 20 with a first-round TKO over Moises Guzman Almonte in the Dominican Republic.

"I’m just super grateful to be here," Walton said.

Both he and Serrano are represented by MVP Promotions, co-founded by Paul and his business manager, Nakisa Bidarian.

Paul, noting Serrano and Meinke are scheduled to fight 12, three-minute rounds rather than the two-minute rounds that are standard for women’s bouts, said, "This card to me is probably the most exciting that I’ve been a part of, point blank, period."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jake Paul fight Saturday can't keep YouTube star from looking ahead