Wednesday, March 29, 2023  |


Jake Paul is ‘excited’ to punish Tommy Fury and silence his critics

Jake Paul lunges at Anderson Silva during their cruiserweight bout at Gila River Arena on October 29, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Fighters Network

At the third time of asking Jake Paul and Tommy Fury will finally lock horns in an eight-round cruiserweight grudge match at the Diriyah Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday.

The pair were originally tabbed to meet in December 2021 only for Fury to pull out with a chest infection and rib injury. The fight was then rescheduled for last August. However, Fury was unable to get a visa to enter America and the fight was curtailed.

For over a year both men have jawed back and forth, notably when they met in a hyped-up ring ahead of the light heavyweight title fight between Artur Beterbiev-Anthony Yarde last month.

“I’m excited to make him pay for all the times he’s pulled out and screwed over me and my business partners,” Paul told The Ring. “I’m excited to silence the critics who have always said, ‘Fight a real boxer.’ It’s going to be good.”

That’s not to say Paul doesn’t recognize what Fury is capable of and also what he sees as things he can exploit.

“He’s a good boxer; he’s fast, he has a good jab, good combinations. He’s good but he’s not great and I’m great. That’s the difference you’re going to see,” said Paul, who went on to list Fury’s shortcomings. “I don’t think he’s been in this level of pressure and this big of a fight. As a 23-year-old he’s not going to know how to handle that.

“He had bad defense, bad head movement, his stamina isn’t good, he doesn’t have good power and he panics a lot in transition because he doesn’t know where to go. He comes in with his chin up.

“This is a Fury and he comes from legendary bloodline, so if you choose to hate me after I beat this guy, then you really just hate yourself.”

Paul, 26, first gained acclaim as a child star on the Disney Channel. His popularity grew as he branched out via social media [he currently has 4.5 million followers on Twitter, 22 million Instagram followers and 20.3 million YouTube subscribers] before he entered boxing, which was greeted with skepticism.

However, “The Problem Child” has shown a desire and discipline to his craft that has earned respect inside the sport.

“Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, even Tyson Fury has shown love, David Benavidez, a lot of world champions, Ryan Garcia, they get the game, they’ve fought and so their co-sign to me means more to me than some of these boxing critics who don’t really know what they’re talking about and have never really even been in a gym,” said Paul.

While all fights present a certain level of danger, Paul believes that while none of his opponents have fought as professional boxers, they did fight in combat sports and presented a different look and even more danger than your average boxing journeymen that up-and-comers on their way up wouldn’t encounter.

Jake Paul nails MMA legend Anderson Silva during their hotly contested cruiserweight fight. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

“People who are smart, with is extremely rare in this day in age, they understand Anderson Silva is a way more difficult opponent, Tyron Woodley is a way more difficult opponent,” he said. “The experience that both of them have, they’ve been in there with the best of the best. Anderson Silva is one of the greatest strikers of all time. Do you think Tommy Fury is on that list?”

Paul, who has sparred the likes of former world champions Steve Cunningham and Chad Dawson, says he has gained from that experience training hard away from the bright lights, so when they go on, he’s ready for anything.

“A lot of times sparring partners coming into camp they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, I knew you took is seriously but I didn’t know you took it this seriously,'” he revealed. “The word on the street is I work harder than a lot of world champions, that’s what’s gotten me so far and so fast, there’s no cheat codes here. I just know I’m behind the eight-ball and have a lot of catching up to do in terms of experience and hours, so I push myself to go above and beyond every single time I’m in the gym.

“I think people who really pay attention and watch some of the videos, they’d see bits and pieces of how hard I train. I make my sparring more difficult than the fight. So, when I get into the fight it’s easier.

“It’s funny when they post pictures with me that they’re in camp, I go to the comments and people are like, ‘Man, you must have been taking it easy on him. There’s no way Jake would have survived if these guys were actually trying to spar him.’ And it’s like, no these guys were going full go. They know it and I know it, my coaches know it, my coach encourage it, my coaches tell them what to do to try to beat me, give them tips how to pick me apart.”

Paul is used to succeeding in whatever endeavor he tries. He says boxing is the hardest of them all but he intends to reach the very top.

“I will become a world champion and help grow this sport, bring other people up under my promotion and turn them into superstars and continue to open boxing gyms for my foundation, ‘Boxing Bullies’ over the next couple of years and get as many people to fall in love with this sport as I possibly can,” he said.

“It’s quality over quantity for [Most Valuable Promotions] and giving [fighters] that platform, promoting things differently, it’s a new game, it’s a new boxing world, it’s a new media world. That’s what MVP brings to the table as the mastery of that world and the exposure of my platforms.

“I started boxing three years ago and got to this level. I think to get to the highest level will take me another three years. I have the goal to be world champion. Tommy is a speed bump on the way there.”

It is very obvious when speaking to Paul how seriously he takes boxing. He’s independently wealthy and he still chooses to box and for that he should be admired.

He brings younger people and a different crowd to the sport. I viewed him with skepticism and am by no means sold on him but he’s not bad for boxing. In fact, along with other avenues like his Most Valuable Promotions and charity work, he seems to want to help better boxing.

This fight will tell us a lot more about him as a boxer. A win would make him even hotter; a loss and he’ll have lost luster and proved the naysayers correct.

Fury, who is the younger brother of WBC heavyweight titleholder Tyson Fury, turned professional in December 2018. Early in his professional career he appeared on British Reality TV show Love Island and gained crossover appeal. However, when he returned to boxing he won several low-level fights to move his record to 8-0 (4 knockouts).


Paul-Fury, plus undercard bouts, will be broadcast live on ESPN PPV at 2:00 p.m. ET/ 11:00 a.m. PT and in the U.K. on BT Sports Box Office at 6:30 p.m. GMT. FITE TV will show the event at 2 p.m. in Canada.


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