At some point, we all knew this would happen.
Jake Paul was going to overstep his limitations at some point. A rookie boxer cannot call out Canelo Alvarez and genuinely intend to work his way up to that level without reality eventually slapping him upside the head. A lot of fight fans thought Anderson Silva or Tyron Woodley could serve him this lesson, but Paul proved that hard work, talent and size have some pull in combat sports.
Tommy Fury has never really impressed anyone. Though undefeated, his record is largely filled with tomato cans, and he’s fatigued heavily in shorter fights. He’s not a good professional prospect by any means, but he proved to be Paul’s ceiling last night (Sun., Feb. 26, 2023) in Saudi Arabia.
In fact, simply matching Paul’s youth and size revealed a lot about “The Problem Child.”
There is a fine line between relying on the fundamentals and being woefully limited. In the past, Paul has managed to remain on the correct side of that 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 off the simple one-two combination.
In this match up, however, Paul’s jab did not build to anything. He repeatedly fell forward into the punch, which produced a lot of the endless clinch sessions that slowed the overall pace. He rarely doubled it, and his feints were nowhere to be seen. It was a stark contrast to his previous six fights, and it’s all because Fury was actively jabbing himself without suffering a reach disadvantage (watch highlights).
Paul’s form looked a mess as well. Time and time again, he was ducking forward and blindly swinging. Typically, this landed him in the clinch. Sometime around the sixth round, however, Fury realized uppercuts were allowed. As soon as he threw up the middle, he started finding a home in the mush of Paul’s face.
A better boxer would have turned this flaw in a fight-ending issue. In this regard, Paul should be absolutely thrilled that Fury did not pull out of the fight, because even “Platinum” Mike Perry would have demolished him in the pocket. It was ugly, and Paul time and time again went back to the well of swinging wild with his overhand or falling into a left hook.
Paul has a rematch with Fury written into the contract. There’s certainly a ton he could improve on, like returning to his jab, balancing out his footwork, and upping his overall activity. Really though, I wonder if that match up is worth it for Paul. He’s not likely to improve faster than a younger man with more boxing experience than him, and a win only evens the score at this point anyway.
The better option for Paul is chase Nate Diaz. He’s proven himself capable of beating older, slower and smaller mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters. Diaz fits the bill, and it would sell massively despite Paul losing his undefeated record.
For complete “Paul vs. Fury” pay-per-view results and play-by-play, click HERE!