Press Conference Notes: Paul And Fury Go Head to Head in Saudi Arabia

Press Conference Notes: Paul And Fury Go Head to Head in Saudi Arabia

Updated: 24 days, 23 hours, 1 minute, 34 seconds ago

RIYADH, SA — Jake Paul, the international superstar turned professional boxer, decided to answer the critics. He will face a “real boxer” for the first time, the undefeated Tommy “TNT” Fury, in the eight-round cruiserweight main event Sunday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Fury (8-0, 4 KOs), the half-brother of Tyson Fury, has been dominant since making his pro debut in December 2018. Paul (6-0, 4 KOs), nicknamed “The Problem Child,” has become one of the sport’s most popular figures with standout showings over former MMA stars Tyron Woodley, Anderson Silva and Ben Askren.

Fury and Paul have waged a years-long war of words, and that continued in Riyadh at Thursday’s press conference.

Paul vs. Fury will stream live on ESPN+ PPV (2 p.m. ET / 11 p.m. PT), the exclusive digital distributor for the event in the United States. Additionally, it will be available via cable and satellite pay-per-view providers and will be priced at $49.99.

In the co-feature, Ilunga Makabu (29-2, 25 KOs) will defend his WBC cruiserweight world title against former two-weight world champion Badou Jack (27-3-3, 16 KOs).

At Thursday’s press conference, this is what the fighters had to say.

Jake Paul

“We’ve picked this guy apart. We’ve studied him. He makes a lot of mistakes. He’s great on offense. He’s got a great jab. Lots of combos. Speed. Good footwork. Good movement. He’s a good boxer, but he’s not a great boxer. His lack of defense and lack of head movement is going to be exposed on Sunday.”

“I always take every fight seriously. I’ve fought UFC champions. Tyron Woodley was winning the UFC championship when I was on Disney Channel. So, when Tommy says that he’s been doing this his whole life, none of that means anything to me. I’ve always trained harder and tougher than all of my opponents. And I want it more. I have more of a why. I have more of a purpose. I’m Tommy’s end goal. This is the biggest opportunity of his life. He’s never been on a stage like this. He’s never gotten a payday like this. He was getting paid peanuts compared to this.”

“Anderson Silva is one of the greatest strikers ever. So, to go in there and outbox him and put him on the canvas—to me this is a speed bump and a cake walk.”

“I’m so excited for this fight because I can finally silence the critics who have said, ‘Fiight a professional boxer, fight someone your age.’ I agree. I haven’t proven that. But this is why this fight is so big. This is why I’m so excited. This is why I’ve given this guy multiple chances and paid him so much money to finally show up. And it really seemed like the only time he wanted to get into the ring is when I increased the amount of money. So, thankfully he’s here now.”

Tommy Fury

“I’m in boxing and have goals of becoming a world champion. So, if I’m going to do that, I can’t be dodging people like Jake Paul. The first two fights didn’t happen because of it being out of my hands completely. In the first fight, I had a broken rib and the doctors advised me not to fight. In the second fight, I went to the airport with my full team and we were ready to go, and we were denied access to the USA.”

“Third time’s a charm, and we’re here. I’m in super fit condition. I’m ready to go put this all to bed because for the past two and a half years it’s been, ‘When are you fighting Jake Paul?’ To even mention my name in the same sentence is disrespectful to me, a person who’s been boxing my whole life. I’m going to clinically knock this guy out early.”

“You’re getting put to sleep inside four rounds. Let me tell you. I’m not an old man. I’m a fresh, young fighter. I’m going to put you away. You had two very lucky escapes from this fight. You should have taken those escapes. You should not be sitting here right now because this is bad for you. You should have stuck to making easy money fighting old men and celebrities. I’m coming to take your head off.”

Ilunga Makabu

“I just want Badou to keep one thing in mind. I’m going to break your nose. I’m going to break your chin. I’m going to break your ribs. Thank you.”

“I’ve been a world champion for many years. I’m a dangerous boxer. There is no way Badou can take my belt. I’ll go back home with the belt and still be the WBC champion of the world.”

Badou Jack

“I’m here to take his belt, to win. I’m here to become the first Muslim fighter to become a world champion in Saudi. So, I am here to make history. Everybody’s got a plan until they get hit. I’m glad that he is confident.”

“I still feel young. I feel fresh. I want to keep going, and I am here to make history. Some people, they win a title in one weight class. I won in two weight classes. Now, I’m coming for the third. And new!”

Sunday, February 26

ESPN+ PPV (2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT)

Jake Paul vs. Tommy Fury, 8 rounds, Cruiserweight

Ilunga Makabu vs. Badou Jack, 12 rounds, Makabu’s WBC Cruiserweight World Title

Ziyad Almaayouf vs. Ronnald Martinez, 4 rounds, Welterweight

Muhsin Cason vs. Taryel Jafarov, 8 rounds, Cruiserweight

Bader Samreen vs. Viorel Simion, 8 rounds, Junior Welterweight

Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.

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