Anthony Pettis now has a lot of time to pursue other avenues in the combat sports sphere as he is no longer with the UFC now. He signed up with the Professional Fighters League (PFL) recently, but the former UFC and WEC Lightweight champion still has hopes of stepping into the boxing ring one day. And he has already teased with a potential fight with YouTuber-turned-pro-boxer Jake Paul.
Paul has a fight scheduled with Pettis’ former teammate Ben Askren on March 28. The youngster gets a lot of criticism but Pettis thinks that it is unfair and he lauded the 23-year-old for his dedication toward the sport as well.
“Bro, I would love to box,” Pettis told TMZ Sports in a recent interview (h/t BJPenn.com). “I haven’t boxed yet, so I’m 0-0. Boxing’s something I grew up watching my whole life. That’s why I got into fighting, honestly. Watching Chavez, De La Hoya, Mayweather, all these guys (while I was) up and coming.
“But man, (Paul) looked good against another professional athlete. Nate didn’t look like he shouldn’t have been in here, honestly. I’m like, ‘Yo, like did he get any sparring sessions in?’ Honestly, did anyone not show him how to get into a stance? Like he’s just running at him. But I respect him for getting in that ring, bro. Everybody has this talk like, ‘Yo I can fight, if I get in there I can do this.’ It takes a special person to actually get in there and try that sh*t man. We see what happens when you’re not prepared.”
“I think he’s definitely getting better,” he added. “He prepared for a boxing match, so you could tell he was in boxing shape. He was in a stance, at least. But it’s going to be interesting to see how far he can go with it. He’s definitely an athlete. You look at both of the brothers, they’re definitely in good shape and they stay in good shape. It’s not like they’re two couch potatoes jumping in there against professional athletes. They definitely train the part.”
Pettis penned down his contract with the PFL in December 2020. He is expected to fight in the 2021 lightweight tournament of the Promotion, where he will get a chance to win a $1 million cash prize.