Exhibition or Exploitation? Boxing Divided Over Tyson vs. Paul Match

For a long time, no match has caused as much hype as the one announced between Tyson and Paul, but is the match set up to take money from the naive audience?

by Sededin Dedovic
Exhibition or Exploitation? Boxing Divided Over Tyson vs. Paul Match
© Getty Images / Getty Images

The martial arts world has once again been stirred by the announcement of an unusual boxing match between two different eras and styles. Jake Paul, a young boxing talent on the rise, faces the legendary Mike Tyson, who has been retired for decades but still commands enviable respect and awe in fighting circles.

While many agree with UFC president Dan White that this fight is a no-brainer, there are those who see the potential excitement and intriguing dynamics that could come from this unusual encounter. Dana White, known as the unrelenting leader of the UFC, didn't mince words when expressing his opinion on the upcoming match between Jake Paul and Mike Tyson.

He expressed his opposition to this fight, pointing out the lack of sense in facing boxers who are at different stages of their careers. Despite personally appreciating Tyson as an athlete, White could not hide his doubts about the outcome of this encounter, especially considering the significant age difference between the two fighters.

"Tyson gets mad when I do this, but he's 60 years old man. Who cares what I think, it's not my fight. I love Mike Tyson personally as a friend and he's one of my favorite athletes of all time. I don't know, we'll see what he can do and what kind of training camp he's going to do.

31 years is the difference in that fight. You know how I feel about things like that," Dana said at the press conference after the UFC 299 event. His words reflect the attitude of many in the martial arts community who believe this match will bring nothing but sensationalism and potential damage to the sport's reputation.

Saudi Arabias Prince Khalid bin Salman Al Saud speaks with Mike Tyson during Jake Paul Tommy Fury Match© Francois Nel / Getty Images

Mike Perry's counterargument

Despite the general opposition to the fight, there are those who are optimistic about the possibilities of the 57-year-old Tyson.

One such person is Mike Perry, a former UFC fighter and currently a well-known figure in the world of bare knuckle boxing. Perry believes Tyson still possesses the ability to threaten Jake Paul, even in his later years. His words shed light on possible tactics Tyson could employ to outdo his youthful rival.

"Take that money Mike! I think 57-year-old Mike Tyson is also a problem for Jake. He can definitely hurt him and it remains to be seen if they are allowed to knock each other out or if only Jake is allowed to knock out," Perry told MMA Fighting He is not the only one who hints and alludes that this could be a fixed match and that Jake Paul will win.

Mike Perry points out that the age difference is certainly significant, but reminds us that Mike Tyson looked quite good in his last performance in 2020 against Roy Jones Jr. ''Clearly the age difference is the biggest factor here.

But we saw Mike in the match against Roy Jones and he looked great. If Mike goes aggressive and starts throwing punches at Jake right away, before he tries to survive Jake's rush, if he tries to take care of him right away, I can see Jake running away from Mike.

Jake's boxing is based on collecting points and running away when there is someone on the opposite side who can reach him. The last guy Jake fought was no threat at all. Even 57-year-old Mike Tyson poses some danger and at least Jake is fighting a powerful puncher this time,'' Perry added.

Speculation about the rules and the outcome

One of the biggest questions surrounding this match is the question of the rules and the expected outcome. While the details of the fight's rules are still unknown, the question is whether it will be a professional fight or an exhibition match.

This lack of transparency has further fueled speculation and uncertainty about what to expect at the event itself. On the day of the announcement of the match, the rules related to this match were spread on social networks, but in the end it turned out to be incorrect.

The key point of discussion is Tyson's return to the ring after a long hiatus. Although he held an exhibition match against Roy Jones Jr. in 2020, many wondered if Tyson could once again become a serious factor in the world of boxing after so many years.

His performance in that match gave hope to many, but also raised questions about his actual form and ability to deal with modern boxing styles like that of Jake Paul. Despite Tyson's legendary status, Jake Paul should not be underestimated.

In his career, the young boxer has already shown exceptional talents and the ability to deal with more experienced opponents. His aggressive fighting style and tactical approach to the ring could pose a challenge for Tyson, especially considering the potential rusticity of Tyson's preferred boxing style.

The match between Jake Paul and Mike Tyson has already caused controversy and debate within the fighting community. While some see this as a marketing gimmick with no real sporting significance, there are a large number of people who can't wait for this match.