Jake Paul and Tommy Fury went face-to-face in the ring Saturday night, just four weeks before they’re yet again scheduled to fight in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Fury talked trash as if he is completely confident that he’ll beat Paul in their eight-round, 185-pound cruiserweight fight. Paul still isn’t quite convinced that he’ll finally fight Fury on February 26.
Fury’s history has made the social media superstar skeptical that Fury will follow through now that their grudge match has been scheduled for the third time. Paul even admitted that another former UFC fighter, Mike Perry, is on standby, just in case Fury doesn’t go through with a main event that is supposed to headline a BT Sport Box Office pay-per-view show in the United Kingdom and Ireland, as well as an ESPN+ pay-per-view event in the United States.
“Yeah, look, a part of me definitely still doubts [Fury will fight],” Paul bluntly stated during a press conference Saturday night at OVO Arena Wembley in London. “And it’s scary and it’s annoying. And him not showing up to the face-to-face we were just supposed to do right now [at the press conference], it sucks. And the kid’s not necessarily reliable. But the money’s good, man, for him. So, he would just be so dumb [to not fight]. And I think he’s probably tired of Molly making all the money in the relationship. He’s got a kid now, so he needs to help pay for some diapers.”
Paul referred to influencer Molly-Mae Hague, the mother of Fury’s newborn daughter, in citing the motivation Fury has to proceed with their fight this time. Neither Hague nor Fury has announced the birth of their daughter, but they previously revealed that she was due toward the end of January.
If Fury (8-0, 4 KOs), the younger half-brother of unbeaten WBC heavyweight champ Tyson Fury, withdraws from their fight for a third time, it seems unlikely that it would be scheduled again.
Perry, meanwhile, is experienced in UFC and Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, but not in boxing.
The 31-year-old Perry, of Orlando, Florida, is 0-1 in professional boxing matches. Kenneth McNeil (then 6-1) knocked out Perry in the fourth round of Perry’s only boxing match, which took place in March 2015 in Pensacola, Florida.
“We have Mike Perry on standby,” Paul said. “Let’s go Mike Perry! Yeah, he’s ready to jump in, in case Tommy pulls out.”
The 26-year-old Paul, of Westlake, Ohio, obviously has good reason to be wary of Fury’s intentions.
Fury pulled out of their December 2021 bout on short notice, reportedly due to a chest infection and a rib injury. Paul brutally knocked out his late replacement, former UFC welterweight champ Tyron Woodley, in the sixth round of their immediate rematch at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.
The Paul-Fury fight was rescheduled for August 6 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Fury pulled out of their bout again, the second time due to a visa issue that prohibited him from traveling to the United States.
Paul agreed to fight heavyweight Hasim Rahman Jr. instead, but that Showtime Pay-Per-View card was canceled because Rahman later said he couldn’t get down to the contracted maximum of 200 pounds to oppose Paul.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.