Jake Paul vs Mike Tyson ‘not real boxing’ as British pro savages ‘ridiculous’ fight | Boxing | Sport

It was never going to be billed as a clash for the purists, and if the views of Josh Taylor are anything to go by, the controversial bout between Jake Paul and Mike Tyson isn’t enticing for professional boxers either. On July 20, the YouTuber will face the former heavyweight champion of the world, who at 57 years old, has long stopped being associated with the mantra of the ‘baddest man on the planet’.

In fact, with the exception of his exhibition outing with Roy Jones Jnr in November 2020, it will be Tyson’s first professional bout since his calamitous loss to Irish journeyman Kevin McBride 19 years ago. The very term ‘professional’ rankles with many, given the fight was initially set to be uncompetitive before the Texas boxing authorities intervened.

Taylor, of course, has his own bout to worry about – a long-awaited rematch with Jack Catterall in Leeds on May 25. On the one hand, his understandable focus on his own training camp means he can’t be expected to waste time worrying about Paul and Tyson. On the other, if he wasn’t in camp, it seems he wouldn’t care anyway.

“I’ve not really being paying attention because I have no interest in Jake Paul whatsoever,” he exclusively told Express Sport. “He’s purely a showman and credit to him, he’s making a fortune and he’s doing well for himself.

He has actually had picked up boxing skills and worked pretty hard but I just don’t take these fights very seriously because it’s not real boxing. It’s a 57-year-old man fighting against a guy in the prime of his life.”

The man dubbed the ‘Problem Child’ actually boasts a 9-1 pro record, albeit one that derives from mainly fighting fellow social media stars and ex-UFC fighters. But given he’s 27 and less than half the age of Tyson, Taylor won’t be reading anything into the outcome.

“Why is this even happening?” He asked. “Fighting an old man and making it a professional contest? Why? Just so you can say you beat Mike Tyson. I find it ridiculous but at the end of the day it’s entertainment and people will turn up and watch it as they want to watch Mike Tyson.”

There is one high-profile bout that Taylor won’t be ignoring though, despite it being scheduled just seven days before his own pivotal night. Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk face-off in Saudi Arabia on May 18 in a bid to unify the heavyweight division, a notion Taylor himself can associate with having previously been an undisputed world super-lightweight champion.

However, he won’t be disrupting his own pre-fight routine to watch it live. “Saudi is what, two hours ahead? So if it’s at like 10pm I’ll stay up and watch it but any later and I’ll turn the phone and social media off, and watch it when I get up.

“It’s a great fight and I’ve changed my mind on it three or four times. I’ve always been on the side that a good big one beats a good little one, but Tyson has struggled with the smaller opponents in his career so it makes for an interesting fight.”

The Josh Taylor v Jack Catterall fight, promoted by Matchroom and Top Rank Boxing is available to watch on ESPN+ in the U.S. and DAZN around the world.

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