JAKE PAUL is sparring ‘top’ cruiserweights and light-heavyweights for his fight with Tommy Fury and can ‘really punch’, his coach said.
Paul faces Fury over eight rounds at a 192lb catchweight bout on December 18 in Florida.
It will be his fifth fight but the first time against an opponent with prior professional boxing experience.
Since Paul’s debut in January 2020, he has put an emphasis on hard sparring, using his celebrity profile to attract big names in the gym.
And that has been no different for this camp, his second in Puerto Rico, with 10-0 Nikita Ababiy, 23, the latest name training with the YouTube star.
Paul’s trainer BJ Flores told BoxingScene: “We are now less than five weeks away and the closer this thing gets, the happier Jake is.
“Look, Jake has some big advantages in this matchup.
“Jake has been in the ring for hundreds of rounds with many top fighters in the country, quietly traveling all over the USA, sparring, gaining hundreds of necessary rounds to prepare him for a fight like this.
“The one thing consistent amongst all the sparring partners is this – Jake can really punch.”
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In Paul’s first three fights, he beat YouTuber ‘AnEsonGib’, ex-NBA star Nate Robinson, 37, and retired UFC welterweight Ben Askren, also 37.
But in August, the American improved to 4-0 with a win over eight rounds against ex-UFC champion Tyron Woodley, 39.
On the undercard, Fury, 22, beat Paul’s sparring partner Anthony Taylor, 32, to move to 7-0 and set up the mega-fight.
The 2019 Love Island star is the more experienced boxer, but Paul, 24, is entering his third pay-per-view main-event.
And he has a slight height and natural weight advantage over Fury, who has campaigned at light-heavyweight for most of his career.
Flores said: “We really hope Tommy does what he says he’s gonna do and that he comes to the middle of the ring and tries to bang with Jake.
“Size, strength, and power – Jake has big advantages. Tommy is going to find it very difficult when he gets hit with the first clean punch,” said Flores.
“Jake has been sparring with the top cruisers and light heavys in America over the last eight weeks and 24 months.
“He is ready to go right now. The key is just keeping him sharp and making sure he’s peaking on December 18th.”