Jake Paul’s unconventional boxing career may be about to get serious.
The YouTube influencer-turned-trophy player will face a recognized professional boxer for the first time Sunday when he takes on Tommy Fury, the half-brother of world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.
Since venturing into boxing in 2018, Paul has fought fellow influencer, former NBA player and three MMA fighters.. He wins every time, building his already strong brand in the process.
Fighting Fury is widely seen as a step forward, and the WBC, which sanctiones fighting, recognizes this. In fact, if the 26-year-old Paul – a blond, bearded social media phenomenon – wins, he will be awarded a place in the WBC world rankings at cruiserweight.
The sanctioning body said “Jake has a dedication and respect for the sport, and the WBC will not tolerate discrimination against anyone. He deserves the opportunities any other boxer has.”
It’s hardly a move that would be popular with traditional boxers.
Then again, Paul isn’t exactly operating in those circles or trying to please that demographic. He has made a completely different path in the world of boxing and is achieving success, since the fight against Fury has received pay-per-view status and is considered large enough to be hosted for big money in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.
Paul, who rose to fame by posting Vine videos and as an actor on the Disney Channel show Bizaardvark, joined the professional boxing ranks in 2019 and has said he’s “as serious as he gets” about the sport. He says he has a team of 30 people supporting his training, which takes place largely at Cleveland’s home base in Puerto Rico.
“Because my life is on the line,” he told Britain’s The Independent before the Battle of Fury, “so I’m not going to take it lightly.”
Becoming a world champion boxer is his ultimate goal, even if that goal seemed even more distant with the news in January that Paul had signed a deal with the Professional Fighters Association. in mixed martial arts.
Fury certainly doesn’t take his opponent seriously as a boxer.
“It’s like saying a pig will fly, right?” Fury said of Paul’s ambitions to become a world title holder.
“I’m going to teach Jake Paul a lesson… I’m going to show him that he can’t just pick up a pair of gloves and say, ‘I’m going to be world champ.'” “
Fury has an interesting backstory too, and not just because he’s the half-brother of One of the most famous boxers in the world He comes from a family of fighters.
The 23-year-old Briton really made his name by appearing on Love Island, a reality dating TV show, in 2019. It forced him to put his boxing career on hold for nine months — he’d only fought twice at that point — and he’s now married. From British social media influencer, Molly May Haig, with whom Fury took second place on Love Island.
Fury has an 8-0 boxing record, but he’s never fought more than six rounds in a single match. In that sense, he’s also taking a step into the unknown this weekend, certainly when it comes to his opponent’s global appeal. Paul has 4.5 million followers on Twitter and 22 million followers on Instagram.
The fight was initially scheduled to start in December 2021, but Fury had to pull out due to illness and injury, and then again in August 2022 only for Fury to pull out again due to travel issues to the US.
It will take place over eight rounds and Tyson Fury has given his half-brother something of an ultimatum before the bantamweight bout.
“I expect Tommy to tip his chin,” he told British broadcaster TalkSport. “If he doesn’t, he can stay in Saudi Arabia.”
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