In the days leading up to Jake Paul’s fight against Tommy Fury, UFC welterweight Matt Brown gave his assessment on the matchup and the records that both fighters possessed before facing off with each other.
Paul sported a perfect 6-0 resume with notable wins over ex-UFC champions Tyron Woodley and Anderson Silva but not a single fight against a professional boxer. As for Fury, he was 8-0 but his eight wins came against opposition with a combined 24-176-5 record.
While Fury ultimately got the nod over Paul by split decision, Brown stands by his assessment of both records regardless of the result in the fight.
“I didn’t get to watch the fight but I did see the result. It wasn’t anything surprising,” Brown said on the new episode of The Fighter vs. The Writer. “I think I called it was going to be a close decision. I leaned towards Jake Paul.
“People were just talking mad s*** about my call cause I said Jake Paul at least he’d fought some world class athletes. Everybody’s talking mad s*** like I was wrong. I’m like no, that’s still the truth.”
Despite the outcome, Paul didn’t get dominated by any stretch of the imagination but he did struggle at times against Fury’s boxing fundamentals. Fury’s output along with solid footwork helped him stay out of range to avoid Paul’s power punches, which helped the 23-year-old prospect secure the victory.
Afterwards, Paul gave credit to Fury for a job well done while promising to come back better for the rematch, which was part of the contract drafted for the first fight.
Ever since he became a professional boxer, Paul has been adamant that he expects to become a champion in the future and it doesn’t appear those goals have changed in the wake of his loss.
For his part, Brown will never say never when it comes to anybody chasing their dreams but he says the odds are not on Paul’s side when it comes to ever becoming a legitimate threat to the best boxers in the world.
“I would never say that someone can’t do something they say they’re going to do,” Brown said. “You never really know but what he’s shooting for is something astronomically distant. It’s one of the most difficult things you could possibly ask for a human to do. He’d have about as good of a chance of making it to the NFL as you would being a world champion in boxing. The odds are just astronomically against him.”
If Paul wants to continue fighting social influencers or MMA fighters looking for a payday, he can still make a boatload of money and likely add more wins to his record but Brown says that’s a far cry from facing and beating boxers who have dedicated their entire lives to the sport.
“People forget how f****** hard boxing is,” Brown said. “MMA is hard as it is. In boxing, you’re only allowed to throw your hands, you’re only allowed to punch the head and the body. It is a hard f****** sport. People see Jake Paul do some basic stuff against some MMA fighters and they start thinking all these things or giving Conor [McGregor] a chance against Floyd [Mayweather].
“People just forget how f****** difficult boxing is. These guys like [Dmitry] Bivol and Mayweather and Canelo [Alvarez], they’ve been perfecting this art since they were children and they’re one in a million even at that. There’s so many people that have been perfecting this art since they were children and still haven’t succeeded anywhere near these guys. They’re one in a million of those one in a million.”
Brown actually commends both Paul and Fury for taking this kind of risk early in their respective careers when most boxers wouldn’t face someone at an equal skill level until much later.
For all that was made about his breakdown regarding Fury’s record, Brown knows that’s a fairly common tactic used in boxing to help build up a resume while an athlete is learning the sport.
Canelo Alvarez didn’t face an opponent with a winning record until 13 fights into his career. In his ninth fight as a professional, Tyson Fury — Tommy’s older half-brother — took on an opponent with a 4-22-5 record.
Perhaps one day Fury or Paul will develop into a world-class boxer but there’s just far too many unknowns to make that prediction about either of them.
“You don’t see this in boxing very often,” Brown explained. “You’ve seen Tommy Fury’s record, how the guys kind of get a little bit better every time but they’re still not world beaters or anything and he’s still got another 10 fights or so for that. These guys may have a lot more potential than either one of us realize. Canelo Alvarez at one point was 8-0 and we didn’t know who he was and probably would have watched him and you probably wouldn’t have thought ‘oh he’s going to be a world champion’ by watching him. This is the way boxing works.
“They don’t even make names until 15 or 20 fights in. I don’t take anything away either of those guys and both of them, without watching the fight, they may have the potential to go on and do big things. We have no idea really at this point in their careers. That’s why boxers box so much so we do know this.”
New episodes of The Fighter vs. The Writer with Matt Brown and Damon Martin drop every Tuesday with audio only versions of the podcast found on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio and Stitcher