As Jake Paul prepares to fight Tommy Fury in what looks to be the biggest test of his short career, his promotional outfit, MVP, have put together a good undercard for the event.
With plenty of eyes on the pay-per-view fight, Sunday night presents the opportunity for fighters on the card to make a name for themselves and gain a following, and fans have also been treated with a world title fight.
Adam Saleh vs Stuart Kellogg
Adam Saleh (0-0-1) is the only YouTuber on the undercard. He fought Landon McBroom, brother of American influencer Austin, on his debut, which ended in a draw.
Saleh will fight Stuart Kellogg on Sunday, who makes his professional debut. Kellogg lost by round one knockout on the first Misfits X Series card in August, but claimed a victory over Dakota Olave in a bare knuckle fight in 2021.
Meanwhile, Saleh has had exhibition boxing success, with wins over Marcus Stephenson and Anas Elshayb, as well as a draw against Walid Sharks.
Ziyad Almaayouf vs Ronnald Martinez
Saudi-born, Ziyad Almaayouf (1-0), made the perfect start to life as a pro, securing a first-round knockout win over Alfredo Alatorre on the Oleksandr Usyk-Anthony Joshua II card in August of 2022.
‘Zizo’ will be looking to get the locals behind him as he fights Ecuador’s Ronnald Martinez (3-1-1), who fights outside his native country for the first time and is coming off the back of a first career loss. Trained by Buddy McGirt, Almaayouf is one of the hottest prospects from Saudi Arabia.
Bader Samreen vs Viorel Simion
Another Middle Eastern talent for the crowd to favour is Bader Samreen (7-0). The 22-year-old lightweight has accumulated six knockouts in his seven fights to date and won by fourth-round TKO on the Usyk-Joshua II undercard six months ago.
The Jordanian faces his toughest test to date as he takes on Romania’s Viorel Simion (23-9), who has faced the likes of Shakur Stevenson, Lee Selby and Scott Quigg. Simion has been a familiar face for UK fans, with three of his last five fights being in Britain, but four stoppage defeats in his last five suggest that the 41-year-old’s time around the big names in the sport may be coming to an end.
Muhsin Cason vs Taryel Jafarov
American cruiserweight Muhsin Cason (10-0) fights Taryel Jafarov (18-5) in what appears on paper to potentially be the most action-packed fight on the card.
Cason is one of the top cruiserweights in the States but faces an intriguing challenge in Jafarov, who’s record suggests that the judges will not be involved. Twenty-two of his twenty-three fights have ended in a stoppage, with his last fourteen fights ending in the first or second round.
With Jafarov on a ten-fight early knockout win streak, he presents a serious threat to Cason’s undefeated record, although Cason will be of a different calibre to the 36-year-old’s previous opponents.
Ilunga Makabu vs Badou Jack
The final fight of the undercard is one for the boxing purists, as Ilunga Makabu (29-2) makes the third defence of his WBC cruiserweight title. He takes on two-weight world champion champion Badou Jack (27-3-3), who is a fan-favourite on the Middle Eastern boxing scene.
Jack holds wins over the likes of George Groves and Anthony Dirrell but challenges for the cruiserweight title for the first-time in his career, following a controversial win in his last fight against Richard Rivera (10-0).
Similarly, Makabu’s last outing, against Thabiso Mchunu, also wasn’t clear cut, but the Congolese southpaw managed to get the victory by split decision.
Jake Paul vs Tommy Fury
With the WBC promising the winner of Jake Paul and Tommy Fury a ranking, the stakes for the main event have increased even more.
Finally, after almost two years of waiting, Paul (6-0) will face Fury (8-0) in what will be the guilty pleasure for plenty of hardcore fans.
‘The Problem Child’ has been praised by the likes of Mike Tyson for his start to professional boxing, but criticised by a large proportion of boxing fans for having never fought a true boxer.
Wins over MMA legends such as Anderson Silva and Tyron Woodley have shocked some, but yet there remains the doubt he can do it against someone trained in the sweet science.
So, up steps Tommy Fury, who has the support of the boxing community as he looks to put an end to Paul’s unbeaten run and protect his family name. Brother Tyson, and father, John, have threatened to leave the 24-year-old in Saudi Arabia if he loses, the pressure is well and truly on the cruiserweight prospect.
Fury’s last three fights have gone the distance and just one fight in eighteen months is ringing alarm bells for the public, but the Brit looks to have been putting in the work in training and will be aiming to silence his transatlantic rival, after months of torment.
- Jake Paul vs. Tommy Fury – 185lb catchweight
- Ilunga Makabu (C) vs. Badou Jack – WBC cruiserweight title
- Ashton Sylve vs. Maxwell Awuku – Lightweight
- Bader Samreen vs. Viorel Simion – Lightweight
- Muhsin Cason vs. Taryel Jafarov – Cruiserweight
- Adam Saleh vs. Stuart Kellogg – Super lightweight
- Ziyad Almaayouf vs. Ronnald Martinez – Super lightweight
The event will be available to purchase on BT Sport Box Office at a price of £19.95 for U.K. fans, with Paul and Fury expected to make their ringwalks around 9:30PM GMT.