Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury finds himself fully fixed in the middle of the storyline featuring his half-brother Tommy’s upcoming fight against Jake Paul.
The two will clash on Feb. 26 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia after nearly two years of false starts around a pair of previously announced bouts.
Ever since turning professional in January 2020, Paul (6-0, 4 KOs) has beaten the likes of past-their-prime MMA stars Anderson Silva, Tyron Woodley (twice) and Ben Askren, former NBA veteran Nate Robinson, and YouTuber-turned-novice boxer Ali Eson Gib.
The upcoming occasion against Fury will mark the first time Paul has faced a fighter with a boxing-first background.
Fury’s (8-0, 4 KO) resume, however, has plenty of cracks, as his previous opponents featured a combined record of 24 wins, 176 losses and 5 draws at the time he fought them.
Tyson Fury offered his opinions about the upcoming event.
"I think [Paul is] a decent boxer. A lot of people think he's just a YouTube person who doesn't know how to box but I've actually seen him training and I've actually seen his fights and I think he's decent," Fury told Sky Sports.
"He's like a novice professional. He's only had six fights so he's exactly as good as he should be at this stage. He's not an Olympic boxer but then again neither am I."
The WBC titleholder Fury shared a public warning with his brother that Paul cannot be taken lightly.
"He can't just go to the ice cream parlor and not train. He's got to really focus and have the right sparring and everything. He's got to take it really seriously,” said Fury.
"He's got to do the job when he's in there because it's not just the opponent. If you take the opponent out of the equation. There's big pressure, a big stadium, top of the bill and all that sort of stuff.
"The thrills and spills of big-time boxing sometimes get to them so it's going to be interesting to see if Tommy can handle that pressure, which I know he can, but it's going to be interesting to see him do it in front of the world."
Paul recently quipped that the Fury family will disown Tommy after he knocks him out.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com.
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