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Jake Paul says Tommy Fury is a ‘must knock out’ fight for him, ‘not tougher’ than Anderson Silva

Jake Paul believes Tommy Fury will be an easier test than some of his other recent opponents.

On Sunday, Paul and Fury will finally settle their feud with their long-awaited boxing match in Saudi Arabia. It’s an important fight for Paulm as he seeks to put to rest two of the primary criticisms levied against his boxing career: That he isn’t fighting actual boxers and that he’s been fighting past-their-prime fighters. Fury, the younger brother of heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, checks off both those boxes, and so some have suggested Fury will be his toughest test to date.

But Paul disagrees, saying “TNT” doesn’t measure up to MMA legends like Anderson Silva and Tyron Woodley.

“No. F*** no. That’s an insult to Anderson,” Paul told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour when asked if Fury was his toughest opponent. [He’s] not tougher than Anderson, not tougher than Tyron. I think he’s faster than both of them, I think he throws more punches than both of them, but not tougher. Definitely not tougher.”

In his most recent outing, Paul scored the biggest win of his young career, beating Silva via unanimous decision back in October. On top of outworking the former UFC middleweight champion for much of the fight, Paul also dropped Silva in the final round, solidifying his win and silencing many of his doubters. And given his thoughts about Silva and Fury, Paul is expecting to get more than a knockdown on Sunday.

“One-hundred percent,” Paul said when asked if he’d be disappointed if he couldn’t get a finish. “This is a ‘must knock out’ fight for me personally. Because I know I can do it. I would just be letting myself down. I’m going to win the fight, but if I don’t knock him out, I’ll definitely be pissed off, because I know I’m capable of it. I just have to execute the game plan.”

Paul is at an interesting inflection point in his career at 6-0 as a professional. Though he has fought primarily ex-MMA fighters, WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman revealed last week that should he beat Fury on this weekend, the WBC will rank Paul in the cruiserweight division. That, plus a pervasive belief that his entire boxing saga will come crashing down should he ever lose, means the stakes have never been higher for “The Problem Child.” But Paul views that as a good thing, because he’s not the only one with a lot at stake this weekend.

“I don’t feel that pressure, just because of my preparation and confidence, but I definitely have a lot to lose,” Paul said. “But I also think [Tommy Fury] does as well. It’s probably pretty similar amounts of pressure, but I definitely am the guy to beat. I have a bigger platform, I have a bunch of other s*** going on, I have a bright future, and this is really all he’s got. This is his biggest thing, his biggest moment, his biggest opportunity. So, who knows?

“I think there’s a lot of pressure both ways, which is why — when there’s high stakes, that makes for a better fight. People are on the edge of their seats, which is why this is turning out to be a global event. There are so many people here and coming here. ... This is a big global, massive event. I’ve never had this much hype before an event, so many people are talking about it, all different types of audiences are super engaged, so I think the high stakes and high pressure have created a massive fight here.”

Still, even just a few days out, there still remains a question among some fans as to whether or not the fight will actually happen.

Paul and Fury have been booked against each other twice already, and both times Fury withdrew from the bout. Paul even had former UFC fighter Mike Perry ready to serve as a replacement fighter if necessary. But with both parties in Saudi Arabia, and the fight almost here, Paul now is confident Fury will finally have to put up or shut up.

“I think he’s got to get in the ring now,” Paul said. “The money is really good for him. I think there’s delusion from their side, just hearing through the grapevine the conversations that they’re having about this fight. They think it’s just some easy thing, some layup, they can’t believe that I’m taking the fight, so I think they have a lot of delusion about what’s going to happen on Sunday, which is good. I hope he gets in the ring.

“Whatever they want to think, that’s great. If that’s going to give him confidence to get in the ring, that’s all I want, because I’ve been wanting this fight for so long.”

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