Jake Paul responding to Tyron Woodley's tattoo on his YouTube channel

(Image credit: YouTube)

The general assumption heading into Mike Tyson and Jake Paul’s upcoming fight was that Iron Mike would go into it with a significant weight advantage. He’s historically fought at around 220 pounds, while Paul has laced up his gloves just shy of 200 pounds. Well, apparently that’s not going to be the case. Reports are now emerging that Paul has gained a significant amount of weight, and that could have a huge effect on how the fight plays out.

The weight report comes from boxing legend Sugar Shane Mosley. He recently sat down for a chat with fellow all-time great Roy Jones Jr, where the two talked about the recent Ryan Garcia and Devin Haney fight. During the conversation, the subject of Mike Tyson came up, and Mosley said he ran into Paul and was shocked by his weight gain. He said he’s all the way up to 230 pounds. Here’s a portion of his quote…

I just saw Jake yesterday, and he was 230 pounds… He said he feels as fast as he was at 185 or 190. He’s so young… He looks comfortable in the weight.

Ron Jones Jr was clearly surprised by the news and said it could have a dramatic effect on the fight, as the extra bulk should help Paul absorb some of Tyson’s power. Jones Jr faced numerous all-time greats during his career but said the hardest punches he’s ever faced were body shots he took during an exhibition with a mid-50s Tyson several years ago.

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Ordinarily, size is very important for a boxing match because the fighters both need to fit into a specific weight range, but Tyson has been a heavyweight throughout his career, which means he’s fought at whatever weight he’s wanted, as have his opponents. In most of those bouts, he’s given up a lot of height; so, his strategy has always been to get in close, nullifying any reach advantage. That allows him to bob and weave and land quick punches. During his prime, it was very difficult for his opponents to keep him away because he was so solid and sturdy. Most analysts thought he’d try to get in close and essentially push Paul around and land those devastating shots from in close, but if Paul is thirty pounds heavier than anticipated, it’s going to make muscling him harder and should allow him to weather more damage.

The tradeoff to adding more weight is you’re typically not as fast. Mosley said Paul claims he’s just as fast as he was at 185 or 190. I doubt that’s true, but if he hasn’t lost much speed, bulking up could prove to be the right call. Plus, given the huge age gap between the fighters, Paul can likely afford to lose a little speed.

That age gap is the biggest reason why the upcoming superfight, which is being streamed by Netflix, is controversial. Paul is thirty years younger than Tyson and has built a reputation fighting and typically knocking out older legends. Conversely, the Hall of Famer has had some exhibitions, but he hasn’t had a real fight in decades. He’s also had a well-documented history of health problems since retirement. His defenders, however, point to his legendary pedigree as former World Heavyweight Champion, as well as how seriously he’s taking the fight, as reasons the general public shouldn’t be so quick to write him off. According to Jones and others, his fists remain as powerful as they’ve ever been, and if he’s able to land a clean shot, it could lead to the first knockout of Paul’s career.

Paul and Tyson will take place on July 20th at AT&T Stadium in Texas. It’ll be part of a much larger card that will also include Amanda Serrano and Katie Taylor in a much-discussed rematch for Undisputed Lightweight Title. You can catch the action free with a Netflix subscription.