Jake Paul has insisted that Tommy Fury will ‘hate boxing’ after their long-awaited fight on 26 February, if the bout goes ahead after two past cancellations.
Fury, half-brother of heavyweight champion Tyson, was due to box YouTuber Paul in December 2021 but withdrew while citing injury and illness. The contest was rescheduled for August 2022 but fell through again as Fury struggled with travel issues, which prevented him from reaching the US, where the fight was set to take place.
However, the match-up has now been announced for a third time, with Briton Fury and American Paul set to clash in Saudi Arabia on 26 February.
“I don’t hate the kid, I don’t think he’s a bad person,” Paul told the Daily Mail of Fury. “I think he’s just caught up in the wrong lifestyle and doesn’t really know who he is. He’s like a lost puppy trying to figure his life out.
“That’s what I think is happening. I think he thinks he loves this sport and all the glory. It’s been fun [for him], beating these taxi drivers, but he’s going to hate this sport after 26 February.”
Paul, 26, is 6-0 as a professional boxer with four knockout wins. The American has beaten former UFC champions Anderson Silva and Tyron Woodley – defeating the latter twice – but his meeting with Fury, 23, marks Paul’s first fight against a pro boxer.
Fury is 8-0 (4 KOs) and last competed in April, outpointing Daniel Bocianski. Meanwhile, Paul’s last win – his victory over 47-year-old Silva – came in October.
Fury’s brother Tyson and father John have made clear their expectations that the former Love Island contestant will beat Paul, suggesting that the 23-year-old will have to retire from boxing or change his name if he loses.
“He has a lot of weight riding on his shoulders,” Paul said. “I can’t even imagine if my dad or brother said some s*** like that, but I guess he’s always kind of been the runt.
“It doesn’t surprise me [that some people see Fury as the underdog], because I think the real people in the sport, who see through all the fluff, understand what’s going to happen. But it is funny, because he’s been boxing since he was 12 and I’ve been a pro for two years and 364 days.”
Paul also commented on the pregnancy of Fury’s partner Molly-Mae Hague, saying: “It’s a bit bizarre. Two of [Fury’s] biggest life moments in a very short time-period here… I was telling my friends: I don’t know how he’s mentally going to be able to deal with that.
“If I had a kid, I wouldn’t want to be showing up at the gym, so I think it’s going to be a distraction for him.”