Jake Paul and Mike Tyson trade insults as they hype planned summer fight in Texas

Entering to loud boos from a pro-Tyson crowd, 28-year-old Paul vowed to "knock this old man out" when they meet in July.

Mike Tyson, left, and Jake Paul face off during a news conference on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Arlington, Texas to promote their July boxing bout. (AP Photo/Sam Hodde)

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Jake Paul and Mike Tyson traded insults and expletives as they previewed their fight just a few football fields from the site of the planned summer bout, the 80,000-seat home of the Dallas Cowboys.

As for substance, there wasn’t much Thursday night.

Paul downplayed the suggestion that the 27-year-old social media star-turned-boxer still hasn’t had a legitimate opponent, while Tyson simply refused to answer a question about his age. The former heavyweight champion will be 58 on July 20, when the fight is set for AT&T Stadium.

“I don’t see too many people critical about it. Look at this,” Tyson said, pointing to the raucous crowd at an entertainment venue near the site of the fight.

When a reporter suggested there were critics, Tyson said, “Who? Name me somebody. You? Who?”

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation is sanctioning the fight as a professional bout, but it will be eight two-minute rounds instead of 10 or 12 rounds lasting three minutes each. The gloves will be heavier (14 ounces instead of 10), which is supposed to reduce the power of punches.

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Tyson retired in 2005, but most recently fought in an exhibition in November 2000 against Roy Jones in California, which wouldn’t declare it a pro fight. Tyson was mostly annoyed by the scene and the questions, including when asked what it meant to have a chance to fill AT&T Stadium.

“I was doing this years ago, so this is nothing new to me,” said Tyson, who won 50 fights with 44 knockouts before retiring. “This is new to this young boy over here.”

Entering to loud boos, Paul answered with foul language and derogatory gestures, then encouraged and led an expletive-laden chant directed at him by the pro-Tyson crowd.

“I hope you all keep that same energy when I knock this old man out,” Paul said.

Paul has nine wins in 10 fights, three since his only loss to Tommy Fury, the young half-brother of heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. One of the recent wins was in nearby Dallas against former UFC fighter Nate Diaz.

“In due time, I will be fighting for a world championship,” Paul said to the suggestion that he hasn’t fought a legitimate opponent, which also drew the ire of Tyson. “And I will be making you eat your own words.”

Netflix is carrying the fight live, a first for the streaming platform. Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano are the co-main event in a rematch of their slugfest at Madison Square Garden two years ago.

Paul built a significant fan following as a YouTube influencer before he embarked on a professional boxing career four years ago. Tyson was the undisputed world heavyweight champion from 1987-90.

“I respect Mike,” Paul said. “But it’s time. It’s my time now. I will go down as the man who put down Mike Tyson for the last time.”

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