Whether you like these ‘influencer’ style fights or not, Sunday’s clash between Jake Paul and Tommy Fury is intriguing at the least.
Paul, a ‘social media personality’, has built a perfect 6-0 record of wins against YouTubers, basketball players and former MMA champions.
Fury, meanwhile, is blessed with a surname that requires no introduction to fight fans. The half-brother of heavyweight champion Tyson, he too has amassed an unblemished 8-0 record.
The Love Island star has vowed to end Paul’s brief foray into boxing on Sunday, although he’ll have to upset the odds to do so. According to the Jake Paul vs Tommy Fury betting market, the Brit is the 5/4 underdog, although an implied probability of 44.4% suggests his hopes are far from forlorn.
Of all the boxing bets that will be placed this year, few will have the uncertainty of this bout – nobody will really know how good Paul is until he faces somebody with a background in the ring.
Fury has reiterated his belief that he will end the American’s hopes of pro stardom in the sport, vowing to ‘bring him to school’ in their Saudi Arabian bout and ‘stop him from thinking that he can transfer over to professional boxing.
Can either man box to a world-class standard? The jury is out on both counts, although Teddy Atlas – the coach of Mike Tyson, Barry McGuigan and other greats – has praised Paul, noting ‘he can punch. He can get your attention if he hits you.
"If Tommy loses, I'll leave him in Saudi Arabia. He can become Cristiano Ronaldo's best pal and he can be a PT for Ronaldo instead."@Tyson_Fury threatens to leave @tommytntfury in Saudi Arabia if he loses to @JakePaul pic.twitter.com/twHSizuDWn— JOE (@JOE_co_uk) January 30, 2023
On the other side of the ring comes Fury, a 23-year-old at the start of his career who comes from a long lineage of fighting ancestors. He has the schooling in boxing that his opponent simply doesn't.
It’s such a difficult fight to call. Perhaps that’s why, unusually for a ‘celebrity’ bout, it will be an interesting watch for even the most serious of boxing fans.
Easy as WBC
One of the concerns surrounding the fight is that if Paul does win, he will earn a world ranking with the WBC.
It seems egregious to think that a pugilist who, presuming he does prevail, will have only beaten one recognised boxer can be handed a ranking above those who have honed their skills in the gym and fought their way up to the top.
The WBC have claimed that Paul’s ‘dedication’ to boxing should see him afforded the same opportunities as any other individual, although Eddie Hearn – no stranger to hyperbole himself in order to sell tickets – claims the governing body is trying to cash in on the 26-year-old’s commercial appeal.
“Is it right? Not really, because there are fighters that deserve to be in the top 15 much more than Jake Paul, but it's the world we live in,” Hearn said.
Jake Paul vs Tommy Fury main card is set.— Most Valuable Promotions (@MostVpromotions) February 16, 2023
Badou Jack takes on Ilunga Makabu for the WBC Cruiserweight world title.
Almaayouf, Cason and Samreen put their undefeated records on the line. #PaulFury pic.twitter.com/HS7iWTgdrb
Paul himself has vowed to become a world champion and will have a close-up view as the current WBC cruiserweight king Ilunga Makabu takes on Badou Jack on the undercard of his Saudi scrap with Fury.
Whether or not this is a coincidence, only time will tell!