Mike Tyson & Jake Paul’s Fight Disgusts Influential Media Titan Stephen A. Smith

Mike Tyson and Jake Paul.

Getty Mike Tyson and Jake Paul will take part in an exhibition in July, 2024.

Mike Tyson and Jake Paul’s boxing match on July 20 at the 80,000 capacity AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, was always going to generate controversy.

Not least because the age gap between the two athletes is 30 years, but they will now seemingly be fighting for real, rather than an exhibition format. This means knockouts are allowed.

Then, to top it off, it’ll air on Netflix — a new platform for live combat sports events — which could see it become one of the most watched boxing shows of all time, as mentioned by Sports Illustrated writer Chris Mannix.

It’s natural the event still has its critics but dissenting voices have increasingly come from the mainstream, with sports media titan Stephen A. Smith “disgusted” at the show.

This is What Smith Objects to When it Comes to Tyson vs Paul

The cruz of Smith’s issue is that the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation this week sanctioned the bout as a professional fight, meaning it will count on their pro boxing records, as reported by CBS News. Knockouts, therefore, are permitted.

“I’m sad, I’m saddened by it, [and] I’m disgusted by it,” said Smith on ESPN ‘First Take.

“I don’t like it one bit. I’m not taking anything away from the great Mike Tyson, who we all treasure because of the years of greatness he gave us, but he is 57.”

Smith also downplayed Paul’s boxing career, referencing the lack of quality on the internet sensation’s fighting resume, which has mostly seen him feasting on a former basketball player, older MMA fighters, and unknown boxers who have not competed for years. The exception, Smith says, is Tommy Fury, “who is not considered in the upper echelon in anybody’s mind.”

He continued: “When are you going to get in the ring with a modern day reputable fighter with a big name who isn’t 20-plus years removed from retirement? The only time we’ve seen [Tyson] in the ring in that span is for an exhibition with Roy Jones Jr.

“Tyson can hurt anybody … and I’m not dismissing that, but he hasn’t been fighting, and Jake Paul hasn’t fought any real, ranked professional boxers. Why should this be a sanctioned boxing match?”

Smith then said that he appreciates the attention Paul has thus far brought to the sport but if he wants to “elevate” his level, then he has to get into the ring with someone his own age, and his own size.

“Nobody’s asking him to go in the ring with some Canelo, [Dmitry] Bivol, or an [Artur] Beterbiev … nobody’s asking him to do that, but you could get in the ring with dudes who are actually fighting professionally in the modern day era.”

Regardless, The Show Will go on

Even though the event has attracted criticism, the show will go on.

Mid-July, Tyson will make the 59th ring-walk of his pro career as he’ll step through the ropes one more time, against Paul, who’ll hope to make it four wins in a row since his split decision defeat to Fury.

Though the main event will be something of a circus, it has a legitimate mega-fight as chief-support as Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano compete in a rematch of their 2022 classic. The super lightweight women’s fight has all the major championships in that division on the line.