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Jake Paul Sounds Off on Tommy Fury Fight, Eddie Hearn & What Makes a ‘Real Boxer’

Last Updated: July 1, 2023
The fighter, promoter, and entrepreneur shoots from the hip on his latest opponent, chasing world championships, and the next milestones he aims to chase.

Jake Paul is a professional boxer. He’s better known worldwide as a viral video star.

Tommy Fury is a professional boxer. He’s better known worldwide as a breakout star of UK reality dating series Love Island.

We’re making a judgment call here and declaring that whoever wins their duly-sanctioned bout on Feb. 26 in Saudi Arabia gets to declare themselves an authentically real boxer first and foremost without the need for qualifiers.

“I can say what this win will mean to me: I’ve heard all the critics who have said that Jake Paul has never fought a ‘real boxer,'” Paul exclusively told Boardroom this week. “Now, I’m going to silence them.”

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Particularly given that the primary fanbases for both the Cleveland-born YouTube superstar and the younger half-brother of WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury exist outside of the boxing bubble, we ought to take a reality check regardless of what happens between these two on the dunes in Diriyah. It’s entirely common for a pugilist to crush a procession of tomato cans — Sweet Science parlance for walkover opponents you’re meant to pulverize — for the first 10, 15, or even 20 fights of his or her career.

With this in mind, it fully stands to reason that Fury’s first eight pro bouts to date would come against palookas without Wikipedia pages, with only two of them entering with winning records besides.

Further, it makes Paul’s 6-0 run through erstwhile NBA dunksmith Nate Robinson and a trio of aging MMA fighters (one retired, one middle-aged, and one approaching middle age) all the more intriguing, to say nothing of his prodigious knack as a viral marketer for getting butts in seats and driving an overall level of engagement that similarly early-stage pro boxers simply wouldn’t bother to fathom as they throw hands in midwestern hotel ballrooms for $150, a hot dog, and a bus ticket.

And Paul isn’t about to let you forget it — even if critics like promoter and Matchroom Sport Chairman Eddie Hearn willingly declare he has “no chance” to defenestrate Fury.

“Eddie Hearn is a promoter. He has never been in the ring. His opinion is meaningless to me. I know that I will defeat and KO Tommy Fury,” he said. “Nobody in boxing history has ever achieved what I have this early on in their career. I’ve headlined massive pay-per-view events and put every opponent on the canvas.”

No matter what you think about his public persona or his skill chucking those mitts, Jake Paul is truly an A-side figure in the sport, and his earning potential and reach at the PPV box office has routinely outpaced that of any number of boxing’s elite-tier prize fighters and world champions. There is a fascination with him and his place in the fight game that goes beyond just the sort of morbid curiosity that fairly oozes from a circus sideshow or a World Star clip — if there wasn’t, you can bet that the 26-year-old wouldn’t already own a 1-of-1 deal with the Professional Fighters League as a promoter, mixed martial artist, and talent recruiter.

So, what does this all mean regarding next steps after Feb. 26 comes and goes in the Kingdom?

“I’m interested in creating the biggest events, and after I take care of business on Sunday, I’ll see how I can top this for my next fight,” Paul said. “It’s hard to say what the future holds, but the potential is unlimited here.”

“I have the drive and work ethic and the best team around me. I’m hungry and motivated and won’t stop until I’m a world champion. I want to keep pushing myself and keep putting on historic events, selling out arenas and continue to fight higher-level opposition as I go both in boxing and in MMA. The sky is the limit.”

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About The Author
Sam Dunn
Sam Dunn
Sam Dunn is the Managing Editor of Boardroom. Before joining the team, he was an editor and multimedia talent for several sports and culture verticals at Minute Media and an editor, reporter, and site manager at SB Nation. A specialist in content strategy, copywriting, and SEO, he has additionally worked as a digital consultant in the corporate services, retail, and tech industries. He cannot be expected to be impartial on any matter regarding the Florida Gators or Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter @RealFakeSamDunn.