Jake Paul’s unorthodox boxing career might just be about to get serious.
The YouTube influencer turned award-winning fighter will face a recognized professional boxer for the first time on 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 another influencer, a former NBA basketball player and three MMA fighters.. He won each time, further strengthening his already strong brand.
Fighting Fury is widely seen as a breakthrough, and the WBC, which sanctions the fight, recognizes that. Indeed, if 26-year-old Paul – a blond, bearded social media phenom – wins, he will be granted a spot in the WBC world heavyweight rankings.
“Jake has dedication and respect for the sport,” the sanctioning body said, “and the WBC will not tolerate discrimination against anyone. He deserves the opportunities that any other boxer has.
It’s hardly a move that will be popular with boxing traditionalists.
Again, Paul isn’t exactly operating in those circles or trying to please that demographic. He has forged a very different path in the boxing world and is succeeding there, given that the fight against Fury has been granted pay-per-view status and is deemed important enough to be hosted for big bucks in Diriyah. , in Saudi Arabia.
Paul, who rose to fame posting Vine videos and as a cast member on the Disney Channel show Bizaardvark, joined the professional boxing ranks in 2019 and said he was “as serious as you can get” at about this sport. He says he has a 30-person team supporting his training, much of which is done at the Cleveland native’s base in Puerto Rico.
“Because my life is at stake,” he told Britain’s The Independent newspaper ahead of the Fury fight, “so I’m not going to take it lightly.”
Becoming a world champion boxer is his ultimate goal, though that goal seemed even more distant with the news in January that Paul had signed a deal with the Professional Fighters League. in mixed martial arts.
Granted, Fury doesn’t take his opponent seriously as a boxer.
“That’s like saying a pig will fly, isn’t it?” Fury spoke about 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 take a pair of gloves and say, ‘I’m going to be world champion.'”
Fury also has an interesting backstory, and not just because he’s the half-brother of one of the world’s most famous boxers. and comes from a family of unarmed fighters.
The 23-year-old Briton really made a name for himself when he appeared on Love Island, a dating reality show, in 2019. It forced him to put his boxing career on hold for nine months – he hadn’t fought only twice then – and he is now married to British social media influencer Molly-Mae Hague, with whom Fury finished second on Love Island.
Fury has an 8-0 boxing record but has never fought more than six rounds in a single bout. In that sense, he is also taking a step into the unknown this weekend, certainly in terms of his opponent’s global appeal. Paul has 4.5 million Twitter followers and 22 million Instagram followers..
The fight was originally scheduled for December 2021 but Fury had to pull out due to illness and injury and then again for August 2022 only for Fury to pull out again due to travel issues in the United States.
It will go down to eight rounds and Tyson Fury has given his half-brother something of an ultimatum before the catchweight bout.
“I expect Tommy to lie to him,” he told UK talkSPORT radio. “If he doesn’t, he can stay in Saudi Arabia.”
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