Chael Sonnen believes it’s time for Jake Paul to cut bait on Tommy Fury.
For over a year, Paul and Fury have publicly feuded with each other, all with the intention of settling their difference inside the ring. The matchup has been repeatedly hit by setbacks, though, as twice Fury has pulled out of a scheduled fight with Paul. It’s been such a difficult fight to make happen that Paul already designated Mike Perry to serve as the backup fighter for Fury, should something happen yet again, and on Wednesday, yet another issue arose when Fury failed to show up at their scheduled pre-fight press conference.
While Fury’s representatives insist that “TNT” is still ready to face Paul, his absence from the press conference raises concerns over whether he will actually show up on Feb. 26, and according to Chael Sonnen, Paul and his promotional team, Most Valuable Promotions, shouldn’t even risk it.
“They’ve got to kick Tommy Fury, and they’ve got to do it now,” Sonnen told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “They cannot wait until the last minute. They cannot wait until the weigh-ins. They can’t let Fury keep calling all the shots. What he did did to them is [irredeemable]. But nope, he gets another $2 million, and he gets to go to an even nicer location. It’s really weird. But at some point they have to take control if they want to be respected, and it’s a hard thing that MVP’s had. MVP is new and boy have they had to pay for an education. They’ve gotten a rougher go of anyone else ever, but at some point they have to make it clear that they are in charge. And today when he skipped the press conference, his second time, you cut him, you bring Perry in, and that is it. It’s a mistake that MVP is making. ...”
“I would have done it an hour ago,” Sonnen continued. “They get to the press conference, and he’s not there, and the world’s watching, that’s when you make the reveal. That’s when you bring in Mike Perry, to try and bring it in after. ...They’re in a little bit more difficult spot. But they had to see that coming. He’s already done it to them once. They had to see, ‘Hey, there’s a slight possibility that when we get here he’s not here.’ Somewhere he missed his flight, somewhere he didn’t check into the hotel room. They should have had word and had enough time to scramble, and had Mike Perry there. They should have moved on with it.”
Yet, for whatever reason, Paul has decided not to do so. Paul continues to jump through hoops so he can, hopefully, finally settle up with Fury, and while Sonnen doesn’t think that’s the best use of his time and resources, he does suggest that this experience will only benefit Paul as a promoter moving forward.
“What Jake Paul has gone through, for the contributions that he’s made, and the willingness and the contributions he’s willing to make, the way that industry has treated him, and even guys like Fury, who doesn’t show up to a press conference, who gets a main event rescheduled, and who then doesn’t show up again, this is terrible,” Sonnen said. “Even by the low standards of the boxing business, this is bottom rung, everything they’ve done to Paul. If Paul can make it through just this introductory phase, the rest of his career is going to be so easy, because this is abnormally difficult.”
Paul and Fury are currently scheduled to face each other on Feb. 26 at the Diriyah Arena in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.