On Sunday, Jake Paul and Tommy Fury finally will step into the ring to face off in a one-on-one showdown. The fight is the third attempt to get the brash young men, both known more for their non-boxing exploits than their fight careers, in the ring.
The fight has been branded as "The Truth" by promoters and there may be no more apt label as much will be revealed about both Paul and Fury (Sunday, 2 p.m. ET, ESPN+ PPV).
Despite facing a constant stream of criticism from boxing "traditionalists," Paul has proven a dedicated boxer who uses his resources, gained from time as an actor on Disney Channel and a successful career as an influencer, to put together serious training camps. Still, his profile has led to a non-traditional list of opponents because he can't face the low-level, no-name competition that makes up the start of almost every professional boxer's career.
Paul started his career with a first-round stoppage of fellow social media influencer AnEsonGib before a vicious viral knockout of former NBA star Nate Robinson. He then set his sights on stars from the world of mixed martial arts, knocking out an out-of-shape and unmotivated Ben Askren before a split decision against former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.
CBS Sports will have live coverage of the fight with round-by-round scoring and blow-by-blow updates to keep you up to date throughout the night.
"I always take every fight seriously. I've fought UFC champions. Tyron Woodley was winning the UFC championship when I was on Disney Channel. So, when Tommy says that he's been doing this his whole life, none of that means anything to me," Paul said at the final press conference. "I've always trained harder and tougher than all of my opponents. And I want it more. I have more of a why. I have more of a purpose. I'm Tommy's end goal. This is the biggest opportunity of his life. He's never been on a stage like this. He's never gotten a payday like this. He was getting paid peanuts compared to this."
When the first planned fight with Fury fell through due to a Fury injury, Paul rematched Woodley and scored another crushing knockout. Another fight with Fury was canceled in late 2022 when Fury was denied entry into the United States, leading Paul to schedule a fight with Hasim Rahman Jr., only for that fight to also fall apart when Rahman took issue with the weight limit in the contract he'd signed for the fight.
"Third time's a charm, and we're here. I'm in super fit condition," Fury said at the final press conference. "I'm ready to go put this all to bed because for the past two and a half years it's been, 'When are you fighting Jake Paul?' To even mention my name in the same sentence is disrespectful to me, a person who's been boxing my whole life. I'm going to clinically knock this guy out early."
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The planned fights with Fury and Rahman were attempts to address one of the common criticism's of Paul's career: he'd never been in the ring with someone who'd spent years training as a professional boxer.
Paul would go on to fight someone who'd had success in the boxing ring in his next fight, taking on UFC legend Anderson Silva this past September. Silva had previously defeated former middleweight boxing champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and presented an interesting challenge with his length, awkward style and legitimate skills despite spending the majority of his life as a mixed martial artist.
Paul scored a late knockdown of Silva and took a decision victory but again faced criticism that Silva was not a "real boxer," as well as for facing a 47-year old. Thus, Paul went back to the Fury fight one final time, with the bout placed in Saudi Arabia, avoiding the ongoing visa issues for the Fury family for their alleged ties to alleged crime boss Daniel Kinahan.
"I'm so excited for this fight because I can finally silence the critics who have said, 'Fight a professional boxer, fight someone your age.' I agree. I haven't proven that. But this is why this fight is so big," Paul said. "This is why I'm so excited. This is why I've given this guy multiple chances and paid him so much money to finally show up. And it really seemed like the only time he wanted to get into the ring is when I increased the amount of money. So, thankfully he's here now."
Fury, famous for both being heavyweight champion Tyson Fury's younger half-brother and for a stint on the television show "Love Island U.K.," has had a more traditional boxing career than Paul, though whether that has been a better indicator of future boxing success is up for debate.
Fury's eight professional opponents had a combined 24-176-5 record when they faced Fury, with almost every one of those opponents operating as a "professional opponent," with careers that revolve around losing to fighters viewed as prospects of varying degrees.
In his most recent fight, Fury faced Daniel Bocianski, who entered the fight with a 10-1 record, though he was coming off a TKO loss in his previous outing. Fury took a decision in a largely uninspiring fight that did see him score one knockdown, though neither man did much of anything else though the fight.
And so, we finally see these two men, neither a truly accomplished boxer, both with resumes that don't hold up to scrutiny set to finally battle to reveal some shred of "The Truth."
"We've picked this guy apart. We've studied him. He makes a lot of mistakes," Paul said. "He's great on offense. He's got a great jab. Lots of combos. Speed. Good footwork. Good movement. He's a good boxer, but he's not a great boxer. His lack of defense and lack of head movement is going to be exposed on Sunday."
Let's take a look at the rest of the fight card with the latest odds from Caesars Sportsbook before getting to a prediction and expert pick on the main event.
Paul vs. Fury card, odds
|Jake Paul -170||Tommy Fury +145||Cruiserweight (185-pound catchweight)|
|Ilunga Junior Makabu (c) -190||Badou Jack +160||WBC cruiserweight title|
|Bader Samreen||Viorel Simion||Lightweight|
|Muhsin Cason||Taryel Jafarov||Cruiserweight|
It's worth noting that this is an entirely appropriate fight for both men from a competitive standpoint. Both have proven themselves capable of handling the level of competition against which they've fought previously and both have the means and resources to put together comparable fight camps. In between the vicious trash talk and the questioning of both fighters' true in-ring qualities, there's a legitimately well-matched bout between two young fighters in need of exactly the level of opponent they are set to face on Sunday.
Fury is likely a bit better technically coming into the fight, but he has shown an inability to truly step on the gas against some low-level opponents in his career. His jab is very good and could prove the biggest obstacle for Paul to clear. If Fury can establish his jab early and keep it in Paul's face, that may be enough to pile up points on the scorecard.
Meanwhile, Paul has legitimate one-punch knockout power. He has clearly gotten better fight over fight, showing a willingness to learn and grow as well as an underrated adaptability during fights. Paul does a good job of processing information and using it to set up big punches and he also stays committed to throwing punches to the body. Paul can, however, get into stretches where he simply doesn't throw enough punches while looking to land a bomb of a right hand.
Say what you will about Paul's opponents to this point, but he has fought a series of men who are unafraid of competing on the biggest stage and who came into the ring with the expectation that they would win the fight. Paul has been able to handle those men and has grown along the way. Fury has yet to face an opponent who was truly a threat to win their fight.
With Paul the naturally bigger man with the more aggressive approach to fights, it feels right to side with him to win the grudge match. It's also worth noting that Paul has gone eight rounds -- the length of this fight -- twice, while Fury has only gone a full six rounds once. Paul's body punching could play a big part in how this plays out. Pick: Jake Paul TKO5
Who wins Jake Paul vs. Tommy Fury? And which plus-money prop is a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see Peter Kahn's best bets for Saturday, all from the boxing specialist who has netted his followers a profit of more than $4,000, and find out.