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Who wins Jake Paul vs Tommy Fury? Prediction and breakdown, plus Matias vs Ponce and more

Will Jake Paul or Tommy Fury get the win on Sunday, and just as important, who suffers the embarrassing loss? That and more in this week’s picks!

Will Jake Paul or Tommy Fury get the win on Sunday, and just as important, who suffers the embarrassing loss?
Will Jake Paul or Tommy Fury get the win on Sunday, and just as important, who suffers the embarrassing loss?
Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images

Jake Paul. Tommy Fury. The fight is here.


It’s Sunday.

We’ve ALSO got world title fights on Saturday and Sunday and two intriguing matchups on Showtime’s Satuday night undercard, too!

We’ve got ALL the predictions! Let’s spice it up!

Jake Paul vs Tommy Fury

Bad Left Hook will have live coverage for Paul vs Fury on Sunday, Feb. 26, starting at 2 pm ET.

Scott Christ (14-6)

Aw, beans, back in last place alone. Ah, well. Anyway, I said what feels like forever ago that Tommy would beat Jake Paul. My belief there has wavered considerably, if I’m being honest, but I’m sticking with it. I think Jake’s better than the mega-doubters think, but I also think Tommy might be better than his mega-doubters think.

What intrigues me here is that this is well-matched. A lot of everyone’s favorite super great pound-for-pound guys don’t take too many fights where you can say they’re truly well-matched on paper, but these dudes are. And there is going to be a genuine embarrassment for the loser of this fight. Look, this is shit-talking fighting at its rawest form, but within the confines of professional boxing rules and all that. I just have the sense that the Furys don’t take this if they’re not certain, and we’re not talking the Hughie branch of the tree here. And while Fury is no great boxer, he is going to be the best boxer Jake has faced, with all respect to Nate Robinson making an ass of himself and the MMA guys.

Tommy beasts out, puts those show muscles to good use, the Furys talk insane heaps of trash for weeks, Jake struggles to accept defeat, we get a rematch in about a year after Jake beats a Diaz brother or whatever. Fury TKO-3

Wil Esco (15-5)

I, for one, am not buying into this narrative that Jake Paul is finally facing a ‘real boxer.’ Tommy Fury is probably just as well known for being a reality television star as Paul is for being a Disney kid. This particular Fury has never impressed me with his ability, and considering I think Paul’s foray into boxing is mostly contrived, I’m going to pick him to come out on top somehow, someway. Paul UD-8

John Hansen (19-1)

I think we’ve finally reached the point with The Paul Brothers Traveling Boxing Extravaganza where stupidity has morphed entirely into torpidity. Their post-millennial spin on huckster carny bullshit was once heresy to boxing’s proud standard bearers of pre-millennial huckster carny bullshit. Today, the Pauls are fully and completely in the fold. The man who perfected getting rich through strategic aggravation of people who’ll spend PPV money to maybe see him lose has since piggybacked on their superior grift. So have major promoters, broadcasters, the heavyweight champion of the world, and the WBC.

Alas, puckishness has diminishing marginal returns. And when you’ve reached the point where you’re doing “collabs” with those you started out “disrupting,” you’re not a fun, exciting outsider anymore. You’re just a shittier version of the same old game. Lassitude eclipses sass, indulgence becomes tedious. And we look from Paul to Fury, and from Fury to Paul, and from Paul to Fury again, but already it is impossible to tell which is which.

Jake Paul’s probably better, though. Be sure you and your friends load the live coverage and recap pages a few times to find out for sure, please. Paul UD-8

Patrick Stumberg (15-5)

Paul actually impressed me against Anderson Silva, and while “did better than expected against a 47-year-old” is usually a backhanded compliment, I’m completely sincere in my respect for his abilities. Whatever you want to say about how his career has been managed or who he is as a person, he’s got genuine gifts and is, by all accounts, working his ass off to become a proper boxer.

Whether he’s there yet is up for debate, but I’m not sure it would take a proper boxer to beat Fury. While “TNT” has the better jab, Paul’s the naturally bigger man, the heavier hitter, and the superior body puncher. I’m not convinced Fury can get Paul’s respect or turn it into the sort of tepid out-fight where he’d hold the advantage. Maybe all the trash talk will awaken some gem of potential Fury’s been hiding beneath the surface, but odds are that Paul’s physicality will be the deciding factor in a decently competitive affair. Paul UD-8

Ilunga Junior Makabu vs Badou Jack

Scott Christ (14-6)

I like Badou Jack. I think basically everyone likes Badou Jack. I just don’t think he’s a cruiserweight. He can fight at the weight, but at top level? Makabu is a flawed fighter and Jack has a legitimate shot to win here, but I think Makabu’s power will really just be too much. I expect Jack to go out on his shield if he’s going out, and I also expect this to be an exciting fight. Makabu TKO-7

Wil Esco (15-5)

The thing about Badou Jack is that I might otherwise be more enthusiastic about his prospects here if it weren’t for that stretch of weak fights he’s taken on the Floyd Mayweather exhibition circuit. Jack was once a really good fighter, but I think the age, the wars, and his bottom feeding will catch up to him. And to be clear, it’s not that I think Ilunga Junior Makabu is some great fighter, but I do think he’ll be better prepared to be in against this level of competition than Jack will be. I’ll take Makabu to win a decision. Makabu MD-12

John Hansen (19-1)

Badou Jack was an exceptional super middleweight, then a capable light heavyweight, and now he’s a 39-year-old who hangs out at cruiserweight, collecting checks to legitimize undercards of shows in the Middle East.

Junior Makabu isn’t invincible, but he’s younger, hits harder, and he’s a legitimate champion that’s spent the bulk of his career at the weight. That’s plenty for me to not overthink things too much, or surrender to fond memories of Badou Jack from 7 years and 30 pounds ago. Makabu TKO-10

Patrick Stumberg (15-5)

In a just world, Thabiso Mchunu would be the one getting this opportunity. Makabu, no stranger to wars during his time among the cruiserweight elite, looked downright plodding against his old rival. If that wasn’t an aberration, I don’t see Makabu’s title reign lasting much longer.

That said, it’s one thing to struggle with Mchunu, an ultra-seasoned veteran whose style has always given Makabu fits. It’s quite another to sleepwalk to a questionable split decision win against Richard Rivera. I don’t know if Johnathon Banks’ legendary lethargy somehow rubbed off on his pupil, but the relentless offense that made “The Ripper” such a threat at 175 was nowhere to be seen. For long stretches of that fight, Rivera had free rein to slam home looping punches that Jack didn’t seem particularly inclined to avoid.

If nothing else, Makabu can still hit, and that should be more than enough against an undersized 39-year-old volume puncher who might not throw volume anymore. Makabu blasts him out before Jack can build any sort of steam. Makabu TKO-3

Subriel Matias vs Jeremias Ponce

Bad Left Hook will have live coverage for Matias vs Ponce on Saturday, Feb. 25, starting at 9 pm ET.

Scott Christ (14-6)

Love this matchup. Glad it’s finally happening. Reminds me a bit of the Wood vs Lara matchup last week, where I was cackled at for picking Wood. Hey, I got it wrong, but even in my getting it wrong, you could see in the fight why I picked what I picked, I think. It wasn’t comically insane after all.

Anyway, I am again going with the underdog here, but with the same reservations. The power pretty much always favors Matias, as it pretty much always will with Lara. He has such snap and thud on his shots, just real, raw power. But like Lara, he’s far from some flawless boxer, and he can be beaten. I think Ponce might have the motor to get it done, but it’s going to be precarious the whole way, just as it was with Wood and Lara where you had Wood frankly dominating for stretches, but getting clipped now and then, and then getting clipped. I think Ponce makes it through here and nicks the fight. He might have to get off the canvas to do it, and I don’t think he’ll totally break Matias down the way he did Lewis Ritson, but he’ll seal it in the later rounds. Ponce UD-12

Wil Esco (15-5)

I don’t necessarily want to call this a trap fight for Subriel Matias, but I do think it’s one he could very well lose if he’s not completely dialed in and focused on what’s in front of him. I know Matias has done some talking about the fights he’s looking forward to after this, but I think he’ll come into this fight knowing the setback he’ll suffer if he doesn’t perform. As for Jeremias Ponce, he’ll come into this fight with some real confidence considering his recent run, but I think once the bell rings Matias will establish himself as the superior fighter but I don’t think he forces the stoppage. Matias UD-12

John Hansen (19-1)

Matias gets hit. No question. But the only time he lost a fight, he lost it on a knockdown where he never did actually fall down, and his opponent was halfway across the ring when the knockout was declared. His ability to endure punishment is only slightly less proven than his ability to dish it out.

It’s a good matchup. I’m excited for the fight, and I’m not going to deduce by subtraction from Ponce, who has a very real chance in this one. I’ll just say that I think Matias has proven more against better opposition, and he’s the bigger knockout power threat. Matias TKO-8

Patrick Stumberg (15-5)

Jeremias Ponce is going to give Subriel Matias hell. He’s got this bizarre, Fundora-esque knack for using his long limbs to snake punches around and through opponents’ guards at point-blank range, and it’s not like Matias makes any particular effort to protect his face at the best of times. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Matias absorb more punishment here than in any prior fight.

But man, I just can’t picture Matias losing a shootout. There’s something awe-inspiring about the snap on his punches, the sheer amount of force he can deliver regardless of how much space he has to work with. He’s not going to wilt the way Lewis Ritson did, and while Ponce is playing the intro to “Hot for Teacher” on Matias’ face, Matias is going to be destroying his midsection. A red-hot start for Ponce will steadily lose steam as the more powerful, battle-tested Matias racks up damage en route to a late finish. Matias TKO-10

Quick Picks!

Jamal James vs Alberto Palmetta

  • Scott: Palmetta UD-10
  • Wil: James UD-10
  • John: Palmetta TKO-9
  • Patrick: James UD-10

Elvis Rodriguez vs Joseph Adorno

  • Scott: Adorno SD-10
  • Wil: Rodriguez TKO-8
  • John: Rodriguez KO-7
  • Patrick: Rodriguez UD-10

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