Jake Paul vs. Tommy Fury Beforemath: Can Fury Diffuse the YouTuber-boxing hostage crisis?
This weekend, we finally get to see Jake Paul fight an actual boxer. He will take on Tommy Fury in Saudi Arabia and put on the biggest fight in the boxing world this year so far which is wild. When you take into account that Jake Paul is only 6-0 and Tommy Fury is 8-0, it’s is crazy to see how much buzz this fight is getting despite the boxers being so new to the sport. Then again, such is the era of influencers.
My good friend Pelican Head is a massive Jake Paul fan and he’s also an avid Beforemath reader. This one’s for you, PH!
he’s a boxer blaine was confused. he is actually the greatest boxer of all time interestingly
— pelikan head (@pelikanhead) February 21, 2023
In this issue of Beforemath, we’re looking at the basics: what does Paul and Fury do right and wrong and we will break down how this fight could play out. Let’s begin!
Jake Paul: Size Matters
For Jake Paul this fight is probably the most important fight of his career. It legitimizes his boxing foray and puts him over a real boxer. This fight will forever change the trajectory of where Paul goes from here. A win will put him on a path through the real world of boxing, a hard and painful road. With a loss, Jake Paul will likely return to the world of YouTube boxing and beating up old MMA fighters.
Love him or hate him, Jake Paul has become a better boxer with each fight he’s taken. From his debut with AnEnsonGib to his most recent win over Anderson Silva, Paul has learned the basics of boxing and developed an actual skill set that he uses.
When watching a Jake Paul fight, you can expect a dipping jab to the body and an overhand right that can knock anyone down. Paul actually has power to threaten with. In fact, this combination is what actually won Paul his ESPN Knockout of the Year award when he finished Tyron Woodley.
To set up the right hook against Woodley in their second fight, Jake Paul conditioned Woodley with the dipping jab to the body for the entire fight. He kept going to the well and eventually Woodley started reaching for it. (1) In the finishing sequence, Paul will step in and dip low. This (2) makes Woodley think “jab to the body” but it also loads up the right hook for Paul. If it weren’t for the jab to the body for Paul, this wouldn’t have worked and Woodley wouldn’t be bothered by the jab fake to the body and kept his guard high. Instead, he makes a fatal error. (3) Tyron Woodley will drop his left hand and Jake Paul will pop up with the right hook. (4) It lands clean and Woodley is out for the count.
In addition to Paul’s decent jab to the body and right hand, Jake Paul also has an eye for timing, something that will be important against Tommy Fury.
One thing that Paul will be looking out for is Tommy Fury putting himself out of position. When looking for offense, Fury will often square himself up and put himself out of position and balance looking to land something big. Paul will want to get in the fire in these moments and land his big shot. Fury tends to load up on his right and that could provide a window to land something of consequence. In fact, Paul utilized windows of opportunity in his most recent fight against Anderson Silva to secure a knockdown in round eight.
Against Anderson Silva, Paul was pushed back all night and responded pretty well. It was more than enough to win him six rounds on two of the judges scorecards. But what was really remembered was the drop. Silva pressed Jake Paul to the ropes and made a mistake by (1) crossing his legs as Paul was set to strike. (2) Silva would overcompensate and be totally square with his legs after a jab from Paul landed and knocked his head back. The right cross was coming, and Silva was off balanced and he tumbled to the ground (3) wondering how it was that a savant in the world of striking was put down on the mat by a YouTuber.
Another thing I would like to see from “The Problem Child” is something new. As mentioned above, Paul uses a good jab to the body and a right hand to set up his game. But for Fury, who is a more experienced boxer than Silva or Woodley, he will need to show something new to catch Fury off guard. A rear uppercut or lead hook could be useful tools to not only surprise Fury but also punish him for pursuing a knockout so aggressively.
All in all, Jake Paul has a lot of money to lose but it won’t be the last time we see him box, win or lose. But Paul is the A-side. The judges will likely favor whatever he’s going to do, and the burden will be on Tommy Fury to prove that he’s the winner. So how does he do that?
Tommy Fury: Just box a little good
Tommy Fury does some things well. He just needs to be a little bit better than he’s been in the past to beat Jake Paul. But it’s Tommy Fury that we are talking about here and his focus will always be a concern. Has he been training? Let’s hope that he has been for John Fury’s sake.
With Paul being as skilled of a boxer as Fury, the improvement on both sides will need to be minimal for one fighter to get the win. The ceiling for improvement is much higher for Fury than it is for Paul. The number one key to this fight is Tommy Fury taking this fight seriously and that’s not something we can break down and is something he just has to do.
Tommy Fury has an astounding 80” reach. To put that into reference: Jon Jones has an 84 1/2-inch reach and Tyson Fury has an 85-inch reach. Jones is 6’4”, Tyson Fury is 6’5”, and Tommy Fury is only 6’0”. His reach is his best asset going into this fight.
What Fury needs to concentrate on in the ring is show the world the difference between fighting in a boxing rule set and the sweet science of boxing. He needs to box, something he’s done most of his life.
Jake Paul may have taken the boxing world by storm with his wins, but he is still raw as one would expect. He makes mistakes and it is well within Fury’s abilities to exploit that.
In his most recent fight, we see some good things from Tommy Fury that shows he can create and utilize mistakes from his opponents in a fight. Daniel Bocianski isn’t the best fighter by any stretch and Paul would probably be the favorite against him if they were to fight. But Fury creates the mistakes Bocianski makes in the fight and capitalizes. In the diagram above, (1) we see Tommy Fury pushing Bocianski to the ropes. He looks for a strike and (2) feints a left hook with a dip to his right. Bocianski is thinking left hook this whole time and is circling away from Fury’s lead hand. Instead of dipping under it, Bocianski is moving toward the power hand of Fury. This is exactly what Tommy Fury is hoping for and he (3) fires a huge straight right as Bocianski circles into his power hand.
And it’s straight punches like this that will be Tommy Fury’s best path to victory. Jake Paul will struggle with a good jab that heeds his overhand right that he favors so much. Fury needs to fluster Paul with the jab, feints, and a well-disciplined cross to snap Paul’s head off his shoulders. Make Jake Paul move his head, make him deal with a jab, take him completely out of his comfort zone.
The straight punching will be key to Tommy Fury staying out of trouble against Paul. Going back to the fight with Bocianski, (1) Fury does that exact same level change that Paul used in the second Woodley fight. This is a basic setup and both fighters actually use it pretty well. The difference between Paul and Fury’s dip is how the follow up. Paul almost always follows up with the right hand. Fury likes to (2) mix in a jab on the dip and follow up with (3) a straight right. Adding these combinations in his arsenal is something that can fool, and fluster opponents and I look for Fury to pull out all of these tricks against Jake Paul.
Lastly for Fury, the body will be insanely important to make Jake Paul miserable all night. Work his body and he will crumble. The lead hook and right cross will likely do the trick as long as Fury stays on his P’s and Q’s and minds his head position.
Beating Jake Paul won’t legitimize Tommy Fury the same way Paul beating Fury would legitimize Paul. But losing to the YouTuber would be an embarrassment that he wouldn’t be able to bounce back from.
Your friendly neighborhood fight fan. I watch way too many fights and my wife lets me know it.