At some point, we all knew this would happen.
Jake Paul was going to push his limits at some point. A rookie boxer can’t call Canelo Alvarez and really intends to fight his way up to that level without reality slapping him on the head. Many fight fans thought Anderson Silva or Tyron Woodley could teach him that lesson, but Paul proved that hard work, talent and size had some appeal in combat sports.
Tommy Fury never really impressed anyone. Although undefeated, his record is largely filled with cans of tomatoes and he is very fatigued in shorter bouts. Not a good professional prospect by any means, but it turned out to be Paul’s ceiling last night (Sunday Feb 26, 2023) in Saudi Arabia.
In fact, just matching Paul’s youth and height revealed a lot about “The Problem Child.”
There is a fine line between relying on fundamentals and being terribly limited. In the past, Paul has managed to stay on the good side of this equation. There’s nothing wrong with relying on the jab to score points and set up the right hand. Hell, great fighters have made entire careers out of the simple one-two combination.
In this match, however, Paul’s jab went nowhere. He repeatedly fell into the punch, which produced many endless clinch sessions that slowed the overall pace. He rarely doubled him and his feints were nowhere to be found. It was a stark contrast to his previous six fights, and all because Fury was actively stinging himself without suffering a range disadvantage (see highlights).
Paul’s form also looked messy. Time and time again, he leaned forward and swayed blindly. As a rule, this brought him into the clinch. Around round six, however, Fury realized uppercuts were allowed. As soon as he threw up in the middle, he started to find a home in the mush of Paul’s face.
A better boxer would have turned this flaw into a fight-ending problem. In that regard, Paul should be absolutely thrilled that Fury didn’t pull out of the fight, because even “Platinum” Mike Perry would have torn him down in the pocket. It was ugly, and Paul time and again would come back to the pit swinging wildly with his overhand or falling into a left hook.
Paul has a rematch with Fury written into the contract. There’s definitely a ton he could improve on, like getting back to his jab, balancing his footwork and increasing his overall activity. Really though, I wonder if this game is worth it for Paul. He’s unlikely to improve faster than a younger man with more boxing experience than him, and a win only ties the score at this point anyway.
The best option for Paul is to hunt Nate Diaz. He has proven himself capable of beating older, slower and smaller mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters. Diaz fits the bill, and he would sell out massively despite Paul losing his undefeated record.
For full “Paul vs. Fury” pay-per-view and play-by-play results, click HERE!
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