Puerto Rican Serrano will defend the unified featherweight titles against Nina Meinke in San Juan, with Paul’s fight taking place earlier in the night. Paul has helped to promote Serrano, 35, in recent years, and the world champion has fought on his undercards numerous times. Now, the roles will be reversed as Paul fights pro boxer Bourland.
Bourland, a former Golden Gloves champion, has a pro record of 17-2 and last fought in September 2022, in his first contest in four years. The American, 35, is on a three-fight win streak, having won via TKO last time out after recording back-to-back decision victories.
Six of Paul’s nine pro fights have come against mixed martial artists, including UFC stars Nate Diaz, Anderson Silva and Tyron Woodley, while his clash with Bourland will be his third meeting with a pro boxer – and second in a row.
Paul has expressed his intention to become a world champion, citing that goal as the reason for his recent match-ups with August and Bourland.
Paul said on Tuesday (30 January): “I beat a pro boxer in December in the first round, someone who’s been boxing their entire life, and what did I do next? I went straight back to camp to get ready to face my next opponent, a professional boxer who has twice as many professional fights under his belt than I do.
“It’s a new year, it’s an even better me, and I’m facing an even more experienced, seasoned boxer [...] I’m fighting for experience, not for the money. And to show my love for this beautiful island, I’ll be donating my entire fight purse from this event to my nonprofit Boxing Bullies to help renovate gyms across Puerto Rico.”