Tommy Fury will take on Jake Paul this weekend in the hottest two-man contest in boxing history.
“This fight shows that Jake Paul is not a professional boxer and that YouTube boxing and professional boxing should not be mixed,” said Fury, brother of WBC heavyweight champion Tyson.
Over the past six years, boxing has taken a somewhat unexpected and divisive turn, beginning in 2017 when YouTubers Joe Weller and Theo Baker got into a brawl at a Brighton gym.
Following its success, many video content creators, reality TV stars and social media influencers have reached out. art of fistfightingcreate a new wave of Fight fans and generate huge amounts of money.
Boxing enthusiasts feel it makes a mockery of the sport. It’s an insult to the more talented fighters who have spent years porting and honing their techniques and still struggle to make ends meet.
BBC Sport spoke with Fury, promoters Frank Warren and Eddie Hahn and former two-time world champion Carl Frampton to find out what Fury has and what he loses fighting Paul. It’s the latest in a boxing matchup, or celebrity boxing story, that discusses whether Sunday’s fight can be considered “real.”
“I see it as a form of entertainment”
Proponents of the boxing phenomenon on YouTube say it brought a new, younger, fresher eye to the sport. They argue that increasing the appeal of boxing is a good thing.
“But I’m probably an old-school hardcore boxing fan and it just wasn’t for me, so I’m struggling.
“It doesn’t mean I’m not interested. It’s entertainment. But I don’t see boxing on YouTube as boxing, I just see it as a form of entertainment.”
Fury, 23, A handful of amateur matches, However, most of his fame comes from his stint on the dating show Love Island. As a professional, he has won all eight of his fights, but his opponents combined he has a record of 24 wins, 176 losses and 5 draws.
Paul, 26, has won all six professional games, but his opponents include fellow YouTubers, former NBA basketball players, Former MMA fighter.
So what is Fury-Paul’s entertainment, or is it “proper” boxing?
“Jake Paul to Tommy Fury, I will actually remove it from the boxing world on YouTube,” Hahn responds.
“They are two undefeated guys. They are not going to challenge for the world title, but they are better than some professional boxers.
“They go to real training camps and put in hardspurs. Just because they’re famous doesn’t mean they don’t have the right to be professional boxers.”
“Boxing can be learned from YouTubers”
Paul and Fury to promote their next fight clash in the ring Before last month’s light heavyweight world title match between Anthony Yard and Artur Beterbiev.
One of the best players in the world, Beterbiev waited patiently in the dressing room while a topless Fury went head-to-head with Paul.
It’s a visual representation of how boxing has evolved in recent times, and it’s acceptable for a pound-for-pound star to wait for a title defense while two newbies promote their match. I raised the question of whether or not
Warren defended the decision, describing it as a perfect opportunity to promote Paul Fury to a global audience, while Frampton called it “a little disgusting.”
Hahn wasn’t a fan either, but believes fighters can learn a lot from the rise of entertainment boxing.
In an era where social media fanbases often dictate celebrity levels, Paul has 63.9 million followers and subscribers across YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.
“These YouTubers are great self-promoters,” says Hahn.
“They have built their own platform and spend their days engaging and interacting with their fans and customers.
“Whether it’s boxing or YouTube, people love characters, people love personalities, people love conflict.
“We want fighters to learn that they need to build their profile, that they need to build a platform, that they need to interact by spending time themselves through promotional companies. I can.”
“Fury has everything to lose”
The fight is the latest lucrative sporting event to take place in Saudi Arabia.
the kingdom is spent billions But critics, including human rights group Amnesty International, have accused Saudi Arabia of trying to “sportwash” the country’s “awful” human rights record.
According to Sports Zion, Paul’s prize pool is expected to reach $8.6m (£7.1m), while Fury will take home $4.5m (£3.7m), including 35% of pay-per-view sales. It is reported.
But despite the best payday of his career, Fury insists money isn’t his motivation.
“I’m not going to get anything out of this match, and I’m fully aware of that,” he added. “All I have received is clarification that Jake Paul is not a professional boxer, and I have always said so. No titles or accolades for this.”
There’s more at stake for Fury than boxing’s credibility. He is warned by his brother Tyson and his father John that if he loses to Paul, he will be “disowned” by his family.
“He’s got everything to lose in terms of being a boxer and having the name Fury,” Warren said.
“he is standing [for] boxing world. But he has a huge amount of money to earn. It sets him up for life.
“It’s like risk or reward. The reward is before he gets in the ring. But now the risk is whether he wants to be seen as Tyson’s brother or Tommy, who could be world champion. “Do you want to be seen as Fury?”
Is the WBC ranking for winners a step too far?
WBC governing body crowned winner in move frustrating many boxing officials, including Frampton Cruiserweight ranking with the organization.
Paul’s traction in particular could lead to a chance to challenge for a world title in the future.
Paul has boldly called out boxing superstars and world champions like Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in the past.
“It just crossed the line a little bit for me when Jake Paul calls out Canelo,” Frampton says.
“Novice fighters who call Canelo just laugh at them and think, ‘I’m an idiot.
“If he keeps doing what he’s doing, if he keeps on this trajectory and keeps getting better, there could be a bigger fight, some sort of title fight.
“But can Jake and Tommy beat the world’s top fighters? Absolutely not.”
Following the backlash, the WBC clarified that it would be a Top 40 ranking, not a Top 15.
“The problem is still with the WBC ruling,” Frampton added.
“There will be legitimate fighters with 15-0 records, and there will be good fighters, but they will never come close to the WBC rankings at this time in their careers.
“And do these two novice fighters have a shot at the world title just because they’re in the rankings? That seems strange and unfair to me.
“But it doesn’t surprise me. Boxing is sometimes a circus.”