Jake Paul has been heavily criticised since trading his social media career for the brutal world of boxing.
But, there is no denying he has had a huge impact on the sport and there will be few fights this year bigger than his clash on Sunday night with Tommy Fury.
5 Fury and Paul will finally be able to settle their rivalry live on talkSPORT on Sunday night
Such is Paul’s star power that this bout has attracted a number of famous faces including Cristiano Ronaldo, according to Piers Morgan, who also revealed the Al Nassr star is predicting a ‘great fight’.
Also at ringside will be current undisputed lightweight champion, Devin Haney, and former undisputed heavyweight champion, Mike Tyson, who both appeared on stage at Thursday’s press conference.
Tyson in particular is a prime example of the tides changing in terms of how the boxing world views YouTube boxers like Jake Paul, as he told talkSPORT: “He has boxing experience. He boxed before because it shows in his fights and he’s won against people that he shouldn’t beat.
“And listen, I don’t think they brought him here to lose either, because he’s good for fighting and is good for boxing.
“He makes more money than the champions of boxing. So he’s an enigma.”
Tyson added: “Whoever don’t [respect him] is out of their mind. He’s making more money for the fighters.”
5 Haney and Tyson both attended the press conference on Thursday and they will be ringside on fight night
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Even former two-weight world champion, Carl Frampton, is starting to see the value in Paul. “My wife who hates boxing wants to watch Jake Paul vs Tommy Fury,” he tweeted.
“My daughter who never mentions boxing wants to watch this. Grannys in the street are asking me about it and as a former fighter I want to see it.
“Like it or not, this is big!”
Paul responded on Twitter, saying: “Happy birthday champ. Tell the Granny’s the boxer from Manchester is getting KO by the boy from Disney.”
Happy birthday champ. Tell the Granny’s the boxer from Manchester is getting KO by the boy from Disney. https://t.co/dAqBWAkoTh— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) February 21, 2023
5 Paul’s star power has been turning a lot of previous doubters into fans
Tyson Fury, the WBC heavyweight champion, will also be in attendance on Sunday night and he will actually be in his brother’s corner for the fight.
In a recent interview with Queensbury promotions, he talked about how proud he is of his brother. “To be here, getting paid millions of pounds on the world’s biggest stage at 23 [years old], new-born baby, Mrs [Molly-Mae Hague] – he’s got it all going on.
“He’s rolling deep, isn’t he? He’s rolling in [Mercedes-Benz] G Wagen’s and Rolexes. You know, it’s like a dream come true for him.
“I’m very proud of what he’s done and that’s why all the boys have come over to support him in his conquest of smashing Jake Paul’s face in.”
5 Tyson Fury is expecting a big KO from his brother Tommy on Sunday night
In boxing, it used to be that the biggest fights would land in Las Vegas or Madison Square Garden in New York.
But, nowadays, if you want more money, you go to Saudi Arabia, just ask Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk who have been trying to convince the Saudi’s to put up the big bucks for months, although the latest news suggests their attempts have been unsuccessful.
The first major fight that landed in Saudi Arabia was Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz Jr 2 in 2019 and it took place at the same venue that will be hosting Paul vs Fury, Diriyah Arena.
The Saudi’s also brought Joshua vs Usyk 2 to The Kingdom and they are hoping to secure the undisputed lightweight clash between Devin Haney and Vasiliy Lomachenko later this year, so for Paul vs Fury to be among this calibre of fights tells you everything you need to know about its magnitude.
5 The Paul vs Fury super fight will take place at Diriyah Arena, the same venue that hosted Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz 2
This weekend will see former pound-for-pound great Guillermo Rigondeaux fight in Miami on Friday night, followed by an exhibition bout for boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr on Saturday and yet, Paul vs Fury is the fight stealing the headlines.
Paul’s last fight against Anderson Silva, according to the man himself did between 200,000 – 300,000 pay-per-view buys, while his first fight against Tyron Woodley reportedly sold around 500,000 buys.
This can be compared to some of the biggest stars in boxing today, for example Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis whose last fight did 200,000 buys or Deontay Wilder who sold just 75,000 pay-per-views from his most recent fight.
The financial success of Paul vs Fury is yet to be seen, but it may be time to re-evaluate and acknowledge that perhaps this YouTube boxing is no longer just a gimmick.
talkSPORT has landed exclusive radio rights for the blockbuster boxing showdown between Jake Paul and Tommy Fury.
Our coverage of the fight will start at 7pm on Sunday, February 26 on talkSPORT 2 before switching over to talkSPORT at 9pm ahead of the main event.
talkSPORT.com will bring you all the build-up across fight week, exclusive interviews with both camps and the very latest from Saudi Arabia as well as a live blog on fight night.
To tune in to talkSPORT or talkSPORT 2 through the website, click HERE for the live stream.
You can also listen via the talkSPORT app, on DAB digital radio, through your smart speaker and on 1089 or 1053 AM.