Boxing: Sportsbooks anticipate heavy interest in Paul-Tyson

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Sportsbooks are anticipating a flood of action before Jake Paul and Mike Tyson step into the ring for their sanctioned bout on July 20.

Paul (9-1, eight knockouts), the YouTube star-turned-boxer, will face the former heavyweight champion Tyson (50-6, 44 knockouts) in Arlington, Texas. The fight will consist of eight two-minute rounds.

Paul has held steady as the -145 favorite at BetMGM, although he has attracted only 25 percent of the money wagered compared to the 75 percent backing Tyson at +150. Eighty percent of the total tickets have also backed Tyson so far.

More than two months of build-up remain before the fight that will be livestreamed by Netflix, and sportsbooks anticipate heavy interest from the public.

“This is the type of mega fight that will draw in multiple demographics: Tyson supporters, Jake Paul haters and casual sports fans,” BetMGM senior trader Alex Rella said. “I fully expect this to be the most bet on boxing match of the year. Tyson is receiving strong support from bettors and the sportsbook will be rooting for Paul.”

Paul, 27, is three decades younger than Tyson, who will turn 58 in June.

“(My detractors are) just going to say he’s old and you disrespected him and all that (expletive), but I just want to make it clear, Mike Tyson was the one who wanted it to be a pro fight,” Paul said on his weekly podcast.

“Mike got into training camp and called up people on my team and were like, ‘Let’s do a pro fight. Is Jake down?’ Netflix was like, ‘Let’s make it a pro fight. We’re down,’ And I said to Nakisa (Bidarian, Paul’s manager and business partner), ‘If that’s what Mike wants, then that’s fine, but make sure you tell Mike that there’s no holding back.’

“Whatever happens, happens, and this is war now. If Mike’s OK with that, then I’m OK with that. But I want Mike to be the one making this decision because I respect him as the legend. If he puts me down, I can deal with that. But if I put him down, he needs to be the one making the decision on whether or not he can deal with that. But yes, I’m going in there and now it’s a pro fight, it’s on my record, and I’m going to (expletive) put him down. And if people are (expletive) about it, then watch soccer.”

Tyson’s publicist, Joann Mignano, said the rules proposed to the former heavyweight champion were two-minute rounds for a scheduled eight rounds.

“However, Mike is happy with the two-minute rounds because it gives Jake less of an opportunity to run around,” Mignano told USA Today.

Paul has 4.6 million followers on X, formerly Twitter, and 27 million on Instagram. He most recently defeated journeyman boxer Ryan Bourland.

Tyson has not seen action since an exhibition fight draw with Roy Jones Jr. in November 2020. His last professional fight came in 2005, a loss to Kevin McBride.

–Field Level Media

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