Barry McGuigan has provided his comprehensive breakdown and final prediction for the Jake Paul versus Tommy Fury catchweight clash in Saudi Arabia.
It’s the third time the pair have organised a scrap, but the first that looks like it will actually happen. Both have touched down in the Middle East and all that remains is making the 185lb agreed weight.
Paul enters the ring a slight bookies favourite, the six wins that make up his undefeated record occupied by mostly retired MMA fighters. Fury has eight pro fights without tasting defeat, most coming against opponents with losing records.
Many fans feel the intrigue lies in genuinely not knowing how good either man is, but McGuigan, writing in his Mirror column, has done his research,
“The secret of Jake Paul’s ‘success’ has been clever match-making as much as ability. He knows who he can handle and who he can’t. His opponents have been either smaller than him or less experienced.
Though Tommy Fury meets both criteria, there is at least some jeopardy on this occasion because, despite his inexperience, Fury is quite a good fighter.”
Despite his praise for Fury, he believes he’s not near his full potential yet, and that’s why the American has picked him.
“With the right training and dedication [Fury] could be around the top 30 of 40 light heavyweights in the world. So Paul is getting him at his novice stage. Fury is strong and has potential, but from a technical point of view Paul has got him at the right time.
Had Fury another half dozen fights under his belt Paul, a natural cruiserweight, might not have chosen him. I expect Paul to be slightly heavier. You can see he has had plenty of good sparring at the Wild Card in Los Angeles. He moves well, he can punch, and has a good left hook.”
Finally, the fighter turned manager and pundit made his pick, leaning heavily on how the fighters will manage their distance, and opting for Paul to do so better.
It may come as a shock to many fans given his son, Shane McGuigan, has worked with Fury in the gym and said the Brit has all the tools needed to beat Paul.
“It is vital to negotiate that 20-inch square punching range. That is where the damage is done. Being proficient in that space is the difference between those who make it and those who don’t.
Paul is quite good at that. I’m not sure Fury has had enough schooling yet. I’m pretty certain Paul shares that view, which is why he agreed to fight him in Saudi Arabia. I can see a victory for Paul, more likely on points but possibly by late stoppage.”
UK fans can tune in via BT Sport Box Office and those in the US can watch via ESPN+.