International superstar Jake “The Problem Child” Paul met with the media at a press event Monday at AMALIE Arena in Tampa ahead of his showdown with U.K. reality TV star Tommy “TNT” Fury. The two professional boxers will put their undefeated records on the line in the main event of a SHOWTIME PPV event live from AMALIE Arena on Saturday, December 18.
Also appearing at Monday’s event was seven-division world champion and current unified featherweight champion Amanda Serrano, who will face 135-pound titleholder Miriam Gutiérrez in the co-feature of the SHOWTIME PPV event. Tommy Fury and his older brother, WBC Heavyweight World Champion Tyson, appeared virtually at Monday’s event.
Paul also met with the media on Saturday at RedTail Resorts World Las Vegas to preview the sanctioned eight-round cruiserweight main event bout that was made after months of heated back-and-forth between the two men. Fury’s trainer, the highly accomplished SugarHill Steward, represented Team Fury at Saturday’s event. Paul was joined on stage by “Coach D,” also known as the viral internet comedian Druski.
At Saturday’s event, Paul spoke of his true passion for the sport of boxing and how it gave him a purpose in life at a time he desperately needed it most. “Boxing is my true home,” he said.
Tickets for the live event, titled #PaulFury: One Will Fall, will be available for purchase on Wednesday, November 10, at www.amaliearena.com.
Below are quotes from Paul, Tommy Fury, Serrano, Steward and Tyson Fury.
“I was a young kid in Los Angeles just getting caught up in the wrong things and surrounded by the wrong group of people and boxing gave me the chance to take my life back and the follow a routine and to have a purpose. It gave me something to fight for. I wasn’t meant for L.A., although I thought I was.
“Tommy claims to have been doing this his whole life and he’s had this amateur career, and he’s been around it and that is true, but he hasn’t worked as hard as me. I see a green guy who hasn’t sparred enough times and who has only been put in there with opponents that were meant to lose. This is his first real test where his opponent just doesn’t flop over. You’re going to see that. You’re going to see a fighter who is a virgin, in my opinion. He has no idea what he’s getting himself into. This is his first time under the big lights and on the big stage, and he’s going to crack under the pressure.
“Just the fact that Amanda Serrano is the G-W-O-A-T, the greatest woman of all time. There’s no debating that. I like to work with people who are cool and Amanda and I just clicked from day one. She needs to be put on a bigger platform and that’s where Most Valuable Promotions comes in. She’s a star and she’s got the record and all the accolades. You hear it all the time, the best boxer in the world who isn’t getting paid or isn’t as big a star as they should be. So that’s the formula that I’ve figured out and I’ve developed. The marketing, the content, the branding, the entertainment side. And that’s what we hope to give to Amanda Serrano and other boxers alike. We want to elevate this sport as much as possible and bring more eyeballs to the best, and that’s exactly what Amanda Serrano is. The potential is huge. We are already eyeing, in 2022, the biggest women’s boxing match of all time with Amanda Serrano versus Katie Taylor and we’ve been working with Eddie Hearn to get that done.
“Tommy Fury hasn’t been tested. We will see how he responds and I think that’s the beautiful thing about this fight, it’s the unknown. Is he actually a Fury, or will we find out if he’s just a half-Fury? Does he have the heart like his brother or is he just living in the shadow of his brother? This is also my first time fighting a real quote-unquote boxer. Whatever that means. He’s undefeated, same height, same weight so it’s really a perfect matchup and we’re really going to see who worked harder, who wants it more and who has that dog inside of him.
“I will TKO him in the later rounds. He hasn’t had a fight past four rounds so I think he’ll be gassed. I think this will be the first time he’s getting punched in the face by someone who can actually hit and is the same weight as him. He’s always fought smaller guys with losing records. So I think he’s going to fade. I know he’s going to fade. It’s just what round? Fifth? Sixth? Seventh? Maybe I knock him out in the last 10 seconds of the eighth. But he’s not hearing that eighth bell ring. I’ve got $500,000 on the line, and when he loses, he has to change his name to Tommy Fumbles. He accepted it, so we’ll see what happens.
“It was my first real test that I passed. A UFC Champion who dominated the UFC with his big overhand right. He hit me with a shot in the fourth round that was nothing. I ate it very easily and kept moving. I found a way to win and passed my first test in my fourth professional fight. Nobody from Muhammad Ali to Mike Tyson to Floyd Mayweather was testing themselves as much as I was in my fourth fight. I learned a lot about myself and what I’m capable of and performing under pressure. I look forward to bringing that experience to my next fight.
“With every fight, I’m giving the people what they want. What they wanted was for me to fight a real boxer. That’s what everybody kept saying. So here is a real boxer who is the same height, same age, same reach, a better record than me and who has been boxing his entire life. His brother is the heavyweight champion of the world. He has a legendary name, he has the following, he has the star power. It’s the perfect fight. When I knock out Tommy Fury on December 18 right here at AMALIE Arena, there will be nothing left to say. All the media, all the people who have constantly doubted me and said I’m bad for boxing, I’m going to shut you all up and you will put respect on my name after I beat this kid.
“Tyron Woodley was an unorthodox fighter. MMA guys come in with different types of striking. When I fight a boxer, it’s going to be more of a chess match. More strategic. We’re going to be thinking a lot more in the ring. Woodley just came out throwing overhand rights. We have a gameplan and we’ll be sticking to it. But I see a guy that’s green. He doesn’t have head movement. He can’t fight going backwards. He’s stiff. He’s rigid. He has fast hands and he has good combinations but we’re taking all of that away and there’s not going to be anything left for him to do.
“This kid’s chin has never been tested. He’s only been put in with opponents that were meant to lose. I’ve never done that. All my fights were stepping into the unknown. For him, this is the first fight where the opponent isn’t just put in there to lose. On the biggest stage possible, in front of all these people, this young man will crack. He’s not battle-tested like me. He hasn’t lived the life that I have. He’s had a silver spoon in his mouth his whole entire life. He’s doing this because his brother does it. Because his dad told him to do it. This isn’t something he wants to do. If it was up to him, he’d be an Abercrombie & Fitch model.”
“You fought a 40-year-old guy in your last fight. He hit you with one proper punch and you fell through the ropes. When I come for you, I’m knocking you spark out. You fought retired UFC people, a basketball player and that’s it. When you fight me December 18, you’re getting knocked spark out. This is a step too far for you. Stick to YouTube because that’s all you’re good for. I’m going to show you what losing feels like.
“I feel like I’ve won the lottery. You’re asking me to fight on a massive world stage, you’re going to pay me nicely, and all I’ve got to do is fight Jake Paul. A YouTuber. I’m going to splatter him December 18. I’ve won the lottery. I’m begging Jake Paul, please do not pull out. Because normally, when we get to this stage in boxing, you’ve got to fight for a world title. But I’m fighting a YouTuber! Sign me up.
“I took this away from his fight with Tyron Woodley. The man got a split-decision win. That means you only just won against a 40-year-old retired UFC fighter. My god, well done. Good job, mate. You just about beat a 40-year-old man. When you get in there with a fresh 22-year-old whose been doing this all his life, you’re going to wish you stuck to paying UFC fighters off and basketball players. You should have gone and fought Tiger Woods, not somebody who has done it his whole life because you’re in for a big shock. You’re the one who is going to crumble.
“When you’re getting hit all over the face and your nose and ears are busted, you’re going to look at BJ Flores and think, ‘What have I done here? I shouldn’t have called him out. Pull me out!’ I’m begging you, please don’t retire on the stool. Come out and fight like a man. I wish the fight was tomorrow.
“Everybody keeps talking about the pressure. All the people in the arena. I don’t care about that. There’s only one man I care about that night. I’m not taking in the crowd or any of that. I’m coming over to Tampa Bay to do a demolition job and please the whole wide world. It doesn’t matter how much pressure is on me. There’s been pressure on me from the start and just because there are a few more people there and a few more lights, I won’t crack. Believe you me. It’s in my blood and I’m going to go out there and shut this guy up for everybody in the world that’s asking for it. This was a step too far and I’m going to prove that on December 18.”
“Hard work, dedication and sacrifice is what has gotten me to this point. Greatness requires sacrifice and I’ve sacrificed my whole life from 18 years old until now. It’s just been boxing, boxing, boxing. Nothing can happen without a great team behind you and that’s what I have.
“I’m the featherweight champion and I’m taking a risk by moving up in weight. In women’s boxing, we have to go to where the opportunities are and I want to be able to do things that not every girl can do. And that’s win multiple divisions in different ways from 140 all the way down to 115. I know that if my record is ever broken, which I don’t think it will, it won’t be done the way that I did it.
“It feels awesome to be fighting in Tampa. Why not fight in the city of champions? We have the Lightning and the Buccaneers so I’m super honored to be here and fighting in Tampa. I just have to live up the name ‘The City of Champions’ and that’s what I’m going to do.
“Fighting on SHOWTIME pay-per-view is always a great opportunity. I just want to go out and prove that females can fight. No matter where you put us, we’re going to put on a show and we’re going to look good doing it.
“My career has definitely changed since signing with Jake Paul. I’ve gotten a lot more fans. A lot more followers, due to Jake Paul. It’s just something different. I’m so into boxing and I’ve never really done anything outside of boxing. I’ve dedicated my whole life to it so being under the lights and on social media is something different for me but I’m continuing to learn about it and I can learn a lot from Jake Paul. He’s done a lot of amazing things with his platform and I hope one day I can be half as good as he is.”
“Tommy’s very athletic, very determined and he learns fast. It’s exciting to me to be able to work with somebody like that because that’s what makes me get up and go a lot more – somebody that wants to learn and is excited about it.
“He’s taking this fight very seriously and boxing is in his blood. It’s in his culture. The whole family boxes.
“I think there’s a certain amount of pressure on Tommy being Tyson’s younger brother, but that’s just something that comes with it. Being the younger brother of the heavyweight champion of the world and always looking up to Tyson and wanting to be like him and do the things that he’s done – there’s always been pressure. But now there’s even more because this is a big stage. This is not just sparring in the gym or being amateur. The longer he’s in boxing, it’s going to be more of a challenge.
“Jake is very creative in the ring. I’m watching him. I hear bad talk about him but I have to give him a lot of credit for what he’s doing and how he’s learning. He doesn’t look like a beginner how everybody is talking about because of the things he’s doing in terms of thinking and making adjustments and creating opportunities to land punches. I think he’s coming along just fine – just as well as anybody who is just starting boxing.
“I think it’s going to be fast progress for Tommy because some of the things I’ve showed him, he’s grabbed hold of it so quickly it reminds me a bit of Tyson. It’s just that Tyson has been boxing his whole life and in the gym training, whereas Tommy hasn’t. It’s going to be interesting to watch how fast he really grows and that’s exciting to me because I enjoy teaching and watching somebody learn.”
“I think this is really good fight for everybody who is going to be watching around the world. There’s going to be a lot of people watching. A lot of people are interested in this fight. You’ve got two young, undefeated guys. I’m really looking forward to it. It’s going to be an excellent night.
“I think Tommy will knock him out. No disrespect to Jake Paul, but like I said to Tommy, if he can’t knock Jake Paul out, fly to a foreign country and stay there because he ain’t coming home.”