Tyson Fury says Jake Paul vs Mike Tyson is ‘fantastic’ for boxing

Tyson Fury has said Mike Tyson’s boxing match with Jake Paul will be “fantastic for boxing”, amid general criticism of the upcoming fight.

Tyson, who is widely deemed one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, will be 58 when he boxes 27-year-old Paul on 20 July. The Americans are set to square off at the AT&T Stadium in Texas, the home ground of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, with the bout streaming live on Netflix.

No rules have yet been announced for the fight, and it is unclear whether it will be an exhibition or professional contest. Regardless, Fury believes that there is plenty to like about the fight.

“I think it’s fantastic for boxing,” Fury said on The Stomping Ground on Wednesday (20 March). “You’ve got a legend in Mike Tyson, you’ve got a YouTube boxer who’s come into the game and blew it up and has got millions of followers and millions of views and millions of eyes – good, bad or indifferent. Some people love [Paul], some people hate him.

“So, I think it’s a really good spectacle for boxing, brings a lot of people to the game. Listen, who am I to say Mike Tyson shouldn’t be boxing, or Jake Paul shouldn’t be boxing? Good luck to them, they’re both gonna make what I call ‘a s*** ton of money’ out of it, so isn’t that what it’s about?

“I’ve been to that stadium, when Billy Joe [Saunders] fought Canelo [Saul Alvarez]. It’s a great stadium, it’ll be fantastic for the guys. Both are getting paid, both are gonna put on a show. I just don’t know what’s not to like.

“Okay, [one] guy is 57 years old, but he’s a former undisputed world heavyweight king.” As for Paul, Fury said: “Listen, from being a kid on the Disney channel to fighting Mike Tyson, who wouldn’t want to do that? You’ve got to admire them both.”

The Briton, 35, also called Tyson and Paul a “pretty even match”, adding: “People say, ‘Ah, it’s s***,’ and this, that and the other, but I bet they still watch it. Who’s not intrigued?”

Fury, who last fought in October, is due to put his WBC heavyweight title on the line against unified champion Oleksandr Usyk on 18 May.

Fury won a controversial decision against Francis Ngannou last time out, surviving a knockdown to outpoint the ex-UFC champion in Riyadh. Fury will return to the Saudi city for his fight with Usyk, which will crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion in 24 years – barring a draw.