Tommy Fury, at 8-0, he has more actual, real professional boxing matches than all five of Jake Paul’s previous opponents put together. All that is true. It’s also true that Fury is just not that good.
The 23-year-old kid brother of heavyweight champ Tyson Fury is more reality star than high-end pro boxer at this point in time. He has the exceedingly weak level of opposition (sporting a combined record of 24-176-5) to prove it. He could very well walk away from his February 26 pay-per-view clash with Paul as a laughingstock in the boxing world, albeit a very well-payed laughingstock.
“He’s going to get knocked out by a Disney star – plain and simple. That’s it. End of story,” The 26-year-old Paul taunted in a face-to-face meeting last Saturday at Wembley Arena, prior to the Artur Beterbiev-Anthony Yarde light heavyweight title clash. “You’ll see, bro. You’ll see who the real professional boxer is… Tommy has so much to lose. His family is going to disown him when I knock him the f**k out. Plain and simple, that’s it. Sorry Tyson, I love you, but it’s over for your brother.”
There’s a sobering reality behind Jake Paul’s mocking, one which Fury’s older brother has been quick to underscore.
“I think [Paul is] a decent boxer. A lot of people think he’s just a YouTube person who doesn’t know how to box but I’ve actually seen him training and I’ve actually seen his fights and I think he’s decent,” Tyson Fury told Sky Sports.
“He’s like a novice professional. He’s only had six fights so he’s exactly as good as he should be at this stage…
“He [Tommy] can’t just go to the ice cream parlor and not train. He’s got to really focus and have the right sparring and everything…He’s got to take it really seriously.
“He’s got to do the job when he’s in there because it’s not just the opponent. If you take the opponent out of the equation. There’s big pressure, a big stadium, top of the bill and all that sort of stuff.
“It’s going to be interesting to see if Tommy can handle that pressure, which I know he can, but it’s going to be interesting to see him do it in front of the world.”
Tommy Fury, of course, insists that he’s more than ready to do his thing on the main stage.
“He’s fought old men…50-year-olds, 40-year-olds, wrestlers, NBA stars. He’ll probably fight Tiger Woods after me, I don’t know,” Fury told Sky Sports. “I’m gonna teach Jake Paul a lesson on the 26th of February. I’m gonna knock Jake Paul out very early…There’s no way in the world this fight goes to points.”
Jake Paul, meanwhile, has been Jake Paul. Aside from scooping Fury and Fury’s girlfriend and fellow reality TV star Molly-Mae Hague on the announcement of the birth of their baby, the YouTuber/influencer has maintained his virtual onslaught, painting Tommy Fury as a fraud who still may try and back out of this twice-previously postponed bout. Most recently, Paul announced that former UFC fighter and current bare-knuckle boxer Mike Perry will be the backup opponent should Fury pull out.
“We have Mike Perry on standby,” Paul told media. “He’s ready to jump in in case Tommy pulls out.
“A part of me definitely still doubts [that Fury shows up]. The kid’s not necessarily reliable, but the money’s good for him. So it would just be so dumb [to back out] and I think he’s probably tired of [Hague] making all the money in the relationship. He’s got a kid now so he needs to help pay for some diapers.”
“I think he’s a big talker, but I don’t think he believes the things that he’s saying,” Paul continued. “He’s the Fury family puppet, right? Tyson and John both were real fighters, real boxers, real dogs, and Tommy feels like he has to live up to that so he’s saying the things that they say, but I don’t think he believes it. I don’t think he believes in himself and he’s going to be in for a rude awakening and he’s going to hate this sport after I’m done with him.”
Time will tell who’s “real” and who’s not. There will be infinitely more pressure, though, on Fury than on Paul this February 26.