With Alex Fesl: On February 26, 2023, Jake Paul 6–0 (4 KOs), will face Tommy Fury 8–0 (4 KOs), at the Diriyah Arena in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. This will be the third attempt for the two to face off in the squared circle.
In the first fight scheduled for December 18, 2021, Fury withdrew due to injury. Paul then ended up facing former UFC fighter Tyron Woodley and hit Woodley with a spectacular right hand. In the second attempt scheduled for August 6, 2022, Fury again withdrew this time due to travel issues. Paul then ended up agreeing to fight Hasim Rahman Jr on the same agreed date. This bout also ended up being canceled due to a dispute over the weight clause between the Paul and Rahman camps. Paul ended up fighting and defeating Anderson Silva several months later on October 29, 2022.
If this fight does happen, it will mark Paul’s first fight against a legitimate boxer. Paul has exclusively partied with boxing upstarts like Youtuber Ali Eson Gib, former NBA player Nate Robinson and ex-MMA fighters Tyron Woodley, Ben Askren and Anderson Silva. This will be a pivotal fight for social media influencer Paul. Boxing fans are starting to lose interest in being entertained by Jake Paul’s circus, and MMA fans are likely getting tired of watching Jake Paul hate-sham former MMA fighters.
As a fan of sweet science, I’m a bit confused by the idea of Paul’s role in boxing. Initially, when Paul was fighting the undefeated and retired MMA fighters, I felt like it was a cash grab scheme for Paul to take advantage of his curious fight fans and social media followers.
Now that Paul seems to be moving on from punishing newbies as well as getting involved on the promotional side with his more valuable promotions promoting fellow boxers Ashton Sylve, Shadasia Green and Amanda Serrano, I’ve changed my mind about Paul.
While following Paul’s boxing career, I also learned about his non-profit, Boxing Bullies Foundation, which has a message of “Instilling confidence, courage and leadership in youth through the sport of boxing while fighting against bullying,” according to the page of the organization on Instagram. In addition, Paul has become an outspoken voice in the promotion of women’s boxing in major boxing outlets. Congratulations to Pavlos who spoke and spoke! Likewise, I appreciate Paul going back and forth on social media with UFC’s Dan White and Matchroom’s Eddie Hearns about their lack of integrity and general bad business practices, in my opinion, of course. It’s nice to have someone influential ruffle their feathers, so to speak.
With that said, Paul finds himself a very polarizing figure in sports today. While in the sports media, he can be portrayed as an internet troll who causes mayhem wherever he goes, behind the scenes, he has shown himself to be a very savvy promoter and marketer. Like it or not, Paul brings valuable positive attention to the already declining sport of boxing.
Let me know in the comments what you think of Jake Paul. Do we need more underdogs like Jake Paul, Logan Paul and KSI in boxing? What is your prediction for Paul vs. Fury?
Follow Alex Fesl on Twitter: @AlexFesl