Love him or hate him, there is no doubting Jake Paul’s ability to generate headlines. Look above this article for example. There’s one. The influencer and hobbying fighter returns to the ring this Saturday to face what many are calling his toughest test to date.
Paul has made a career, if you can call it that, from fighting a parade of influencers, basketball players and retired mixed martial artists. What he has yet to do is take on an actual professional boxer. Say what you will about Love Island runner-up Fury, but he is one. The half-brother of WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has had eight professional bouts, winning them all.
The majority have arrived against journeyman opposition, but that is not uncommon for a young prospect. The weighty Fury name has led to some unreasonable expectations being placed upon the 23-year-old. But a win here over Paul is more than an expectation. It is an absolute non-negotiable. If Fury is shown up by a non-boxer on such a high-profile card, his professional career is over.
Meanwhile, Paul’s career will be just beginning with a win here. The WBC have said they will place ‘The Problem Child’ in their world rankings if he emerges victorious. It is an odious manoeuvre considering Paul would be 7-0 with one victory over a pro boxer and zero victories over a fighter in the world rankings. But publicity-hungry WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman knows that strapping a green and gold belt around Paul’s waist will get his brand in front of a new, compliant generation. His brother caused international riots simply by releasing his own range of coconut water. Imagine what the infamous YouTube sensation could do for the WBC.
No matter your view of the principles, one cannot deny this novice cruiserweight bout has captured the public’s imagination. If you want to see the final chapter of this thoroughly modern rivalry play out, here’s how you can watch Jake Paul vs Tommy Fury.
Where: Diriyah Arena, Diriyah, Saudi Arabia
When: Sunday 26th February, 6pm with main event ring walks expected at 9:30pm
How To Watch: BT Sport Box Office, £19.95
Tale Of The Tape:
Place Of Birth: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Alias: The Problem Child
Record: 6-0 (4)
Last Fight: Paul scored a unanimous decision victory over eight rounds against 47-year-old UFC icon Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva.
Place Of Birth: Manchester, England
Record: 8-0 (4)
Last Fight: Fury scored a unanimous decision win over Daniel Bocianski. ‘TNT’ is only the second man to defeat Bocianski in 13 professional fights.
Full Fight Card:
Jake Paul vs Tommy Fury
Ilunga Makabu vs Badou Jack – for WBC cruiserweight title
Ashton Sylve vs Maxwell Awuku
Ziyad Almaayouf vs Ronnald Martinez
Muhsin Cason vs Taryel Jafarov
Adam Saleh vs Stuart Kellogg
Bader Samreen vs Viorel Simion
*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change