Antonio Brown might be due for a career change.
Unless you’ve been living off the grid, you probably saw last week’s footage of the former Tampa Bay wide receiver ripping off his pads and jersey and storming off in the middle of the game. But not before sprinting across the field shirtless, and interrupting the play in progress.
It was a spectacle – the kind of behavior one can assume would end a player’s NFL career. Luckily for Antonio Brown, there’s always money in selling a “spectacle.”
It’s the Paul brothers’ specialty.
That’s right, Brown’s antics have landed him atop the list of potential opponents for the box office kings of celebrity boxing: Jake and Logan Paul.
The oddsmakers at MyBookie have already posted four different betting lines dealing with the former Buc’s prospects of fighting in 2022, and if so, who he’ll face. We’ll take a closer look at those four wagers below.
Will Antonio Brown Fight in 2022?
- Matchup Odds
Another NFL franchise taking a chance on Antonio Brown is highly doubtful; it’s safe to assume he’ll be looking to cash in on his fame in other ways.
According to Ava Louise, a model who allegedly spent the night with Brown before his infamous meltdown, he may have been already searching out alternative income streams.
The Only Fans star claims Antonio wanted her to record their time together.
“When we had sex, he wanted to film it and make a tape on my phone. He wanted me to put it out there,” said Louise, who gained notoriety for a recording a TikTok video in which she licked an airplane toilet seat.
Unfortunately, if the woman who willingly licked an airplane toilet seat wouldn’t agree to leak the footage of their night together, that doesn’t bode well for the former All-Pro receiver’s career in porn.
Speaking of income — issues surrounding money have plagued Antonio for years. Many of his most public controversies over recently involve the football star’s refusal to pay for services he’s received.
- For example, in 2019, he rented a mansion in Orlando, Florida, for the pro-bowl and hired chef Stefano Tedeschi to cater the festivities at the crib. Brown stiffed the chef on the $40,000 bill at the end of the weekend.
- A personal trainer sued him one month later, claiming to be owed more than $7,100.
- He also racked up $11,500 in unpaid bills at Dr. Victor Prisk’s office, the Pittsburgh doctor who said Brown farted in his face during a consultation.
These events occurred while Antonio Brown was being paid like a superstar wide receiver!
Doesn’t sound like a man with much liquid cash at his disposal or responsible finances. He also has six children by three different women. Those child support payments add up fast – especially when they’re based on one’s NFL earnings.
The troubled receiver also cost himself nearly $1 million in potential bonuses by getting cut from the Buccaneers. He was close to reaching three separate performance marks worth $333,000 apiece; all he needed was one more touchdown, eight receptions, and 55 receiving yards.
If his financial situation is as dire as it appears, I don’t see many options for Antonio Brown.
He’ll need to turn to the one place where every washed-up athlete and YouTube influencer cashes in on their name: celebrity boxing.
Based on Brown’s behavior over the past few years, taking more shots to the head is probably an awful idea, but he doesn’t appear to have many options.
If he couldn’t behave under Tom Brady’s leadership, there isn’t another team in the NFL that will be able to keep Antonio producing on the field without becoming a distraction.
Celebrity boxing represents the most substantial payday for the least amount of work. Once the NFL money has dried up, Mr. Big Chest will sign a bout agreement.
Will Antonio Brown Fight a Paul Brother in 2022?
- Matchup Odds
If Antonio needs to make money quickly, there’s no one better to attach himself to than the Paul brothers!
The First Attempt
He did precisely that in 2020 when the NFLer was nearly booked for a match with Logan.
Brown, then an unsigned free agent, announced his retirement and promptly backtracked on the decision multiple times.
During this period in limbo, he tweeted “Square up Logan Paul,” to which Paul replied, “I’d drop you faster than the Patriots.” That set the ball in motion for a potential bout.
In January 2020, it was reported that both camps had entered negotiations and that Brown hired Eromosele Albert, a two-time Nigerian Olympian, and professional boxer, to train him.
Celebrity boxing sites listed Logan Paul as a –2000 favorite over the smaller opponent, even though the YouTuber was coming off a decision loss to fellow online influencer KSI.
Regardless, the deal never got done.
Then, in October 2020, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Antonio Brown to a one-year contract, putting any boxing plans on hold for the foreseeable future. That is, until January 2, when the receiver ran off the field half-naked in the middle of a Week 17 game versus the Jets.
Will Talks Re-Open?
Now, I suspect we’re just waiting for Brown to either get bored or run out of money. Once that happens, why wouldn’t he immediately resume talks with the Paul team?
- They have unfinished business to settle,
- it would be a sizable payday,
- and the former NFL superstar is the ideal opponent for either brother.
That third point is especially true for Jake.
Look at who he’s faced – they’re all professional athletes from other sports who have never boxed. They’re inexperienced amateurs but have name value and an impressive enough resume in their chosen professions to trick the public into seeing them as a threat.
Jake’s early successes are probably the most significant hurdle in booking a bout with Antonio Brown.
The younger Paul is a known commodity; he can box. As crazy as Brown might be, after seeing Nate Robinson, Ben Askren, and Tyronn Woodley face down on the mat – and the memes that those knockouts generated – he must know better than to think it’d go any differently for him.
From Jake’s perspective, it might hurt his brand to take a step down in competition. He’s slowly progressed from basketball player to wrestler to wrestling-dominant mixed martial artist with decent hands. Taking on a football player in their first bout would put the 24-year-old back to square one.
If Antonio Brown faces one of the Paul’s in a boxing match, it’ll be Logan.
During his post-meltdown media tour, the 33-year-old free agent told Bob Menery — co-host of the Full Send podcast — that he was responsible for Logan Paul’s pugilistic career.
Brown accused the YouTuber of using his name as clickbait to drum up interest in the latter’s Impaulsive podcast.
Is AB rekindling the flames and angling for a fight, or dismissing Logan as the smaller entity and taking credit for his success with no other intentions?
Here’s another possibility we must consider:
The troubled football star could benefit from the Paul brothers’ box office value without fighting either of them. Much like Chad Ochocinco, Deron Williams, and Frank Gore have all done before, Antonio Brown could sign-up to face an equally inexperienced opponent on the undercard of a Paul pay-per-view event.
I think the undercard option is far and away the likeliest outcome.
I’ll leave a tiny window open for Logan Paul due to their history and Brown talking about him in public again, but probabilistically speaking, it’s way lower than Brown boxing a former NBA player. (Maybe the promoters will continue the NBA vs. NFL theme started with Williams vs. Gore.)
Jake Paul vs. Antonio Brown
- Matchup Odds
- Jake Paul-330
- Antonio Brown+260
As I said in the previous section, Antonio Brown versus Jake Paul is probably the least likely scenario of everything discussed on this page.
Jake is under pressure to face a boxer finally. The public would react to a fight with the football star being announced as a disgrace. Besides being a quick payday, this fight wouldn’t benefit anyone – and there are easier ways for Brown to make similar money.
If They Fought
If Antonio Brown vs. Jake Paul were scheduled, it would look like the Nate Robinson fight. Only Jake has fought three more times since then and gained considerable experience in the gym. The young YouTube sensation has been training for over three years now. Beyond the official bouts, he’s sparred countless times in the gym; that all adds up.
Revisiting Brown’s trainer’s comments from 2020, it’s clear that the former NFL star was a novice. Eromosele Albert admitted that they’d “just started boxing” and “just started training together” and that AB “needs a lot of work to get done, to correct all of his mistakes.”
Jake Paul is no master technician, but it sounds like Antonio has barely laced up his gloves. What little training he completed must have ended abruptly once the Tampa Bay Buccaneers called. Plus, considering Brown’s history of stiffing service providers, Albert probably wouldn’t help the prospective celebrity fighter if he asked. Who knows how much he’s owed.
Not only is Jake Paul the more seasoned boxer, but he’s also the bigger man.
- In the last bout against Tyronn Woodley, they fought at a catchweight of 192 pounds. If that was the limit, it means Jake cut down to make weight. Looking at his body, he probably comes to the ring (after rehydrating) at around 205.
- Antonio Brown’s official NFL weight is 185 pounds – and that’s likely exaggerated. Unlike boxing, professional football doesn’t have weight limits. Teams usually inflate the height and weight of their players to look more intimidating on the stat sheet. But even if Brown did walk around at 185, that’s a 20-pound difference!
Paul is taller as well.
- The 24-year-old is 6 ft 1 in tall,
- while Brown is listed at 5 ft 10 in — and probably closer to 5 ft 9 in. That’s the same height as Tyronn Woodley and Nate Robinson.
This bout would end in a devastating KO, just like those two.
Jake would keep AB at the edge of his reach, dare him to come forward, and wait to drop the overhand right on the smaller fighter.
Age and Health
At 24, Paul is entering his athletic prime. Brown is an athletic freak, no doubt, but the 33-year-old has logged a lot of miles over twelve years of professional football. He recorded over 100 receptions in six straight seasons with the Steelers. The vast majority of those plays end in being tackled.
Of course, when you’re talking about Antonio Brown, the physical decline is an afterthought. His quickness and speed are still there.
It’s his brain that’s the concern.
- Brown has become increasingly erratic and unpredictable in recent years.
- Some observers trace the odd behavior back to a dirty hit the receiver suffered from Vontaze Burfict in 2018.
- We know severe concussions can leave permanent brain damage.
- It’s not unreasonable to question whether Antonio Brown is showing the effects of CTE.
If he is, celebrity boxing is the last the Super Bowl-winning receiver needs. He’ll be much more susceptible to being knocked out – like a punch-drunk fighter.
Jake Paul hasn’t been KO’d; he’s accumulated most of whatever damage he’s taken to the head in sparring – except for one massive shot he ate in the first Woodley bout.
Jake Paul versus Antonio Brown would be one-sided massacre.
Logan Paul vs. Antonio Brown
- Matchup Odds
- Logan Paul-300
- Antonio Brown+200
Everything I said about Jake also applies to his older sibling.
Logan is the slightly larger Paul brother, but he’s less experienced in the ring. Still, he went eight rounds with Floyd Mayweather Jr. (I strongly suspect the undefeated five-time champion carried his novice opponent, but it’s impressive regardless.)
Logan’s two fights with KSI showed off the 26-year-old’s athletic ability and toughness. He’s nothing special compared to regular boxers, but he’d swarm and dismantle a smaller, punch-drunk opponent who’s never competed.
Once again, I’m taking the Paul brother over AB.