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Tommy Fury: Jake Paul, KSI ‘have to fight me to prove that they are a legitimate boxer’

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Tommy Fury is drawing a line in the sand.

The reality television-star-turned boxer declared on The MMA Hour that YouTubers Jake Paul and KSI — who have generated massive buzz with their combat sports ventures — have to step into the ring with him at some point if they’re serious about pursuing boxing careers. Fury is the half-brother of heavyweight boxing king Tyson Fury and has already been tied to bouts with Paul on two previous occasions.

On Nov. 13, Fury looks to improve to 9-0 when he fights Paul Bamba in Abu Dhabi and afterwards, he doesn’t plan to call out anyone; if anything, he expects the likes of Paul and KSI to come to him.

“I don’t need to call out Jake Paul for this fight,” Fury said. “I think you put a poll out there, who wants to see me and Jake Paul, it’s 100 percent yes. Everyone wants to see this fight because if Jake Paul and KSI didn’t have to fight me, they wouldn’t. They have to fight me to prove that they are a legitimate boxer. They have to. There is nobody else with my following and my exposure with eight fights in. There’s nobody.

“So if they want to be regarded as a boxer, they have to go through me. This fight between me and Jake does not need selling and I’m definitely going to take care of business next year, whether that’s in America or the U.K.”

At the moment, it’s unclear if a third bout between Fury and Paul will materialize and if so, whether it would have to take place outside of the United States. Fury was forced to withdraw from a fight against Paul this past August when he was denied a U.S. visa, the cause of which is rumored to be due to the Fury family’s ties to the Kinahan crime organization.

Fury was asked about the ongoing investigation, but did not offer any details nor a potential date for when the situation might be resolved.

“I don’t know,” Fury said. “That’s what I pay my lawyers for and my legal team every day. They’re sorting it and I said to them, ‘Please get this resolved as soon as possible’ and that’s where I’ve left it at the moment. I’m hoping it gets resolved ASAP because I want to come to America. Not just for boxing, just for everything else in my day-to-day life. And, of course, the big one, to get this fight over the line, but if it’s not resolved, if it doesn’t get resolved for a long time, I can’t speak on it. I don’t know how long this is going to take.

“Let’s say it’s a long time, let’s get it on over here. I’m not interested in where I fight. I’ll fight that man wherever. I’m not bothered. If we get there, this would have been all done and settled. But I am ready to go, honestly. … You don’t have to call me out, you don’t have to do anything, you don’t have to try and build a fight, I am here. All these people that’s been saying I’ve been running for these past two fights, you don’t know the half of it.”

Fury is confident that were a fight to take place in his native England, a headlining bout between the two could sell out any venue. This past Saturday, Paul headlined a card at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Ariz., opposite Anderson Silva and he went on to defeat the UFC legend by unanimous decision.

He’s also confident that if the opportunity came up, he’d easily kill two influencer birds with one stone.

“Both in the same night, preferably,” Fury said when asked who he’d rather fight between Paul and KSI. “I haven’t really spoke on the Jake Paul situation much over these recent months, but when you see me get in the ring with one of these guys — I don’t know who is gonna be first, KSI or Jake Paul — you will see the definition of an easy night. You will see why I’ve been saying what I’ve been saying.

“These guys can’t fight. It’s like me dragging someone off a white-collar event, someone who’s just started amateur boxing, and asking them to come to the gym and spar. There’s levels to this game and people have to understand that. I know I’m not at any sort of level myself in my career, I’m only eight fights in, number nine coming up, but I tell you what, I’ve been around it my entire life. Had amateur fights, won titles as an amateur, and honestly, it plays a big part and you will see that with whoever I get in the ring with first.”

That said, Fury acknowledged that Paul is a level above KSI, who recently headlined an event in which he knocked out two boxers in one night.

“Jake is better than KSI,” Fury said. “I think my mother could knock out KSI in a round. I’m telling you. When I watched him fight them two men, I wasn’t even looking at the two men because they’re useless. I was looking at him and what he does as a boxer. He can’t fight. There’s some people in this world that are rough and ready, can fight, training, whatever, he can’t fight. I look at KSI and I don’t see a fighter. I see a pretender, he plays FIFA on YouTube, whatever he’s famous for.

“I think with both men, when these fellas, when it gets sticky and tough in the ring, and they take a few good shots—I’m not talking about a slapping uppercut off a 50-year-old man that grazed him. I’m talking about a proper right hand straight down the pipe and they’re wobbled and the legs go, I want to see the true colors and that will tell me a lot. But I can see a man and I can judge him very well and the moment that happens to either one of them two they’re going to look for a back door, or they’re going to look for a knee, or they’re going to look for a way out, and that’s the difference between me and them.”

Fury also acknowledged that Paul has improved as a boxer since debuting in 2020. “The Problem Child” has since gone on to score wins over former MMA champions Silva, Tyron Woodley, and Ben Askren. Following their fight this past Saturday, retired UFC star Georges St-Pierre gave Paul plenty of credit for his tactics, saying that he was “extremely impressed by Jake Paul’s performance.”

Given Paul’s resources, Fury isn’t surprised at Paul’s development, but he needs to see a lot more of him in the ring before making any bold predictions for his career.

“This guy, he’s bound to get better and better because he’s got money to spend on trainers, he’s got money to spend on sparring partners,” Fury said. “If he’s taking it as seriously as he says he’s doing, he should be improving. I can’t really say that the improvements are very drastic because I know as a professional boxer myself and being around it all my entire life coming from it, the only way you can get better at being a boxer is by getting in there and actually having fights.

“Now Jake Paul, I think that was his sixth fight, something like that. He hasn’t had any amateur fights, so he is slowly improving, but it’s going to take a long while for him to get to any level as a boxer because the only way you can get better is by getting in the ring and having those fights. It’s the same for myself. I can be as good as I want in the gym, but when you get underneath the lights, it’s different. If we all learned as quick as we did in the gym, everyone would be a world champion by now. You only learn by getting underneath the lights in front of a crowd and having the fights. He’s only had six fights, but listen, there’s not too much I can say on the man. He’s getting in there, he’s doing what he’s doing, but in respect to being anything as a boxer and doing anything as a boxer, I think he’s got a very long way to go.”

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