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Tyson-Paul Now Sanctioned Pro Bout… Are You Kidding Me?

Mike Tyson and Jake Paul have taken boxing news headlines by storm since their fight was announced, but after the two camps revealed it’d been switched from an exhibition to a sanctioned pro bout, it’s been labeled as a cause for concern.

In light of this, and in case you’ve been living under a rock, let’s take a closer look at how “professional” this contest will actually be.

Tyson-Paul Now Sanctioned Pro Bout… Are You Kidding Me?
US boxer Mike Tyson-Fayez Nureldine / AFP

The heavyweight clash will take place on July 20 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. As a result, the TDLR (Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations) is responsible for altering the contest from an exhibition to a “professional” bout.

However, I’m not fully convinced; let’s dive deeper.

What Are the Mike Tyson vs Jake Paul Rules?

Mike Tyson and Jake Paul will compete over eight two-minute rounds and use 14-oz gloves. As it’s no longer an exhibition, if the contest goes to the scorecards, a winner will be declared, and the result will affect their respective pro records.

Mike Tyson and Jake Paul signed on to fight each other with the desire to do so in a sanctioned professional fight that would have a definitive outcome,” Most Valuable Promotions said in their release statement to ESPN.Over the past six weeks, MVP has worked with its partners to satisfy the requirements of the TDLR to sanction Paul vs. Tyson, and we are grateful that we have gotten to this point.”

Let’s not sugarcoat the elephant in the room; if this boxing bout were a true professional contest, it would last three minutes per round, and the gloves would weigh between 8 and 10oz.

Holden Boxing LLC, one of the promotions involved, proposed the modified rules to the TDLR, which is likely why they felt more comfortable sanctioning a fight involving a 58-year-old and an inexperienced boxer.

“Pro Bout,” a Creative Use of Words

Famed boxing trainer Teddy Atlas took the words right out of my mouth when he spoke with USA TODAY Sports:

Calling the fight a professional bout is a bit inaccurate or a creative use of words.”

Former heavyweight champion and a legend of the sweet science, George Foreman, also shared his thoughts with USA TODAY Sports following the “professional” bout announcement:

Purely an exhibition! Great for each man; Tyson can’t get hurt, and Paul can have a good night as well. Paul is doing more for boxing than any mainstream contender.”

WWE’esk Storyline

The 14-ounce gloves are likely to protect Jake more than anything, but they also prevent Tyson from being completely embarrassed and mitigate health concerns. Sure, a knockout is possible, but the extra 4oz of padding makes a huge difference, and Netflix’s debut in the world of boxing is starting to feel more like a WWE storyline than anything else.

Boxing rumors will naturally deliver conspiracy theories leading to July 20, but there’s no hiding from the facts. Shorter rounds assist Tyson’s cardio, and larger gloves protect his health. Jake benefits from both because he’s lightyears behind Tyson in experience and has never competed as a heavyweight.

It’s a sideshow; it’s a cliché Jake Paul bout surrounded by theatrics similar to a circus show. While it’s more entertainment-driven than an actual boxing match, it’s a healthy marketing piece for the sport, and it won’t stop me from placing a bet or two on the festivities.



Paul vs Tyson Updated Betting Lines

Since the Paul and Tyson fight was announced as a “professional” sanctioned bout, Paul’s pricing has slightly shifted closer to its opening price (-230), currently sitting at -220. The comeback on Mike Tyson’s moneyline, as of Tuesday, May 7, is +180.

Early betting action has been low, but this is expected to shift as the event draws closer. We notably still have shy of three months remaining until fight night, and we shouldn’t be surprised to see significantly more line movement.



Questions Of The Day

When is Tyson vs. Paul?

Jake Paul and Mike Tyson will fight in Arlington, Texas, on July 20, 2024. The event will be streamed live on Netflix in the streaming giant’s debut in pro boxing broadcasting.

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