Jake Paul says Mike Tyson, the famed heavyweight boxer, is afraid of fighting him because he will knock him out.
Paul explained why Tyson has been unwilling to accept a fight so far on Andrew Schulz’s Flagrant show (h/t Donagh Corby of Mirror):
“I think he thinks that he would knock me out, and I think that’s maybe the reason why he doesn’t want to do the fight. I think he wants to avoid maybe knocking me out, hurting me.”
“[If he knew how good I was], maybe the fight would happen. Maybe him watching this fight will help, and I think there’s a very very high chance that [I knock him out].”
Paul will seek to extend his professional boxing record to 6-0 next month when he meets Hasim Rahman Jr., the son of former heavyweight boxing champion Hasim Rahman.
According to Corby, Paul and Tyson have been buddies since they participated on the same pay-per-view card in 2020.
On that card, Paul knocked out former NBA guard Nate Robinson in his second professional fight, while Tyson faced fellow boxing star Roy Jones Jr. to a draw in an exhibition contest.
Paul recognized his bond with Tyson, but also showed confidence in his abilities to defeat the former heavyweight boxing champion, saying:
“… I would win. I’m serious as a heart attack, it’s delusional optimism which is a real super-power.”
“… I love Mike Tyson. I love him, his family, he’s such a great guy, a wise man who has taken me under his wing. I owe him a ton of credit for helping me start my career with the Nate Robinson fight on his undercard.”
During an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live last month, Tyson was questioned about maybe fighting Paul (h/t Anton Tabuena of Bloody Elbow), and while he didn’t entirely deny it, he highlighted the significance of doing it quickly if it is going to happen.
“That could be very interesting,” Tyson speculated. “I never really took it serious, but yeah, it could be really interesting. Everything is possible, yeah. But it gotta happen this year. It gotta happen this year.”
Tyson also praised Paul for his skills and the enthusiasm he has given to the sport of boxing:
“He’s skilled enough, yes. I’m gonna give it to him. He’s skilled enough because he’s winning. Even if he’s fighting guys that you guys don’t believe is a good enough fighter, they should be able to beat him, but they can’t. He’s beating people that he shouldn’t really be beating. We got to give him that credit.
“And he’s doing so much good for boxing. Listen, this guy got 70 million people following him every time he fights. Champions of the world don’t have that many people following them. So what he’s doing for boxing is just sensational. No one should be hating on that. He’s helping everyone get money. Why are people mad at him?”
While Paul has been impressive, his opponent quality has been questionable, and Rahman Jr. will be the first true boxer he has fought.
Paul has already defeated YouTuber AnEsonGib, Robinson, and two former UFC fighters, Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley.
Paul would have the edge over Tyson due to his younger age (25) and the fact that he has fought in pro fights much more lately, but Tyson is one of the all-time greats.
Tyson, 56, has a 50-6 career record, including 44 knockout victories and two no-contests.
He hasn’t fought since 2005, but Tyson looked amazing against Jones and may still have enough striking power to knock Paul out if he agrees to the match.