How Can Jake Paul Win By Fighting Mike Tyson? He Can't

Now that Mike Tyson versus Jake Paul is a real fight, let the debates begin.

Such was the mood on Monday’s episode of ProBox TV’s “Deep Waters,” when former world champions Timothy Bradley Jr., Paulie Malignaggi and Chris Algieri discussed the decision by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation to sanction Tyson-Paul as a legitimate pro bout.

“They want (betting) odds on it,” Malignaggi assessed. “If it’s an exhibition, there’s no odds on it.”

The same type of reasoning follows in noting that Netflix’s viewership and ticket sales at AT&T Stadium will increase now that the Texas commission has decided to let Tyson-Paul proceed.

By declaring it an official bout, Texas instituted some unique restrictions by requiring eight two-minute-long rounds and 14-ounce gloves (not 10) but will allow for knockouts. 

That enthused Bradley, who clearly has a rooting interest for the 57-year-old over the YouTuber who has piled up boxing victories against former UFC fighters Ben Askren, Anderson Silva and Nate Diaz.

“Mike Tyson, knock his *ss out, baby!” Bradley roared. “At first, I thought this was kind of crazy, but then I looked at the rules – knockouts! – and it’s official. It can happen. Two minutes is going to favor Mike Tyson. No doubt about it, guys.

“Two-minute drill. He comes out in the first four rounds like he’s always-blazing Mike Tyson, gets (Paul) against the ropes, banging him to the body, hitting him with power shots. Come on man! He has the potential to knock this man out. The power is the last thing to leave you.”

Malignaggi wonders if Tyson, at this advanced age, retains the ferocity and explosiveness that made him the heavyweight world champion from 1986 to 1990, and again in 1996.

“Man, you (haven’t) see those videos (of Tyson working out)?” Bradley asked.

“Those are from five years ago,” Malignaggi answered. “This guy smokes weed and does ‘shrooms everyday.”

Bradley responded, “This is Mike Tyson we’re talking about.”

That prompted Algieri to chime in, “I’ll show a video of (Tyson) running on a treadmill. I’ll show you what kind of athleticism he has … it’s not very good.”

Bradley wasn’t having it.

“Two minutes, man, that’s all it takes to knock Disney boy the hell out,” Bradley said of Paul.

When told Paul is an early -220 betting favorite, Bradley shouted, “Oh, hell no!”

The bout’s official designation generated some conflicted feelings for Malignaggi, who was born in 1980 and reeled off as fascinating list of his first childhood heroes: 1986 World Cup legend Diego Maradona, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, pro wrestling’s Hulk Hogan, Mr. T of “The A-Team,” and Tyson.

“I can remember the Mike Tyson mystique of the late 80s,” Malignaggi said. “It’s sad for me, bro. Not that he’s doing this, because I’m happy anytime a guy can make money. But I can literally remember what it’s like to wake up on the morning of a Mike Tyson fight and be like, ‘Whoa!’

“Now, I just don’t want to see the guy get hurt. That’s all I feel, because Jake is more dangerous than everybody’s giving him credit for.”

Malignaggi wonders why Paul is even doing this after spending so much time attempting to cultivate his Quixotic pursuit as an authentic endeavor that includes supporting champion boxer Amanda Serrano, young professional prospects and funding grass-roots endeavors.

“Jake’s been trying to legitimize himself and getting a lot of blowback from the media and fans,” Malignaggi said. “I like Jake, but at the same time, I’m torn here, because he’s the guy who wants boxing to accept him with open arms.

“But, boy, you knock out a living legend at 58 years old and people are going to look at you like, ‘You took advantage of a situation here … .’ Maybe he wants to.”

Algieri told the story of how a training friend, former UFC champion Vitor Belfort, accepted a fight against Tyson’s former rival, Evander Holyfield, and saw Holyfield throwing real shots at him in the ring.

“(Belfort) ices Evander, and everyone came down on (him) … Vitor has to hide after that,” Algieri reminded.

Paul has likely considered the no-win ramifications of this bout. If he hasn’t, he should become acquainted with Tyson’s most famous phrase:

Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.

That punch will either be Tyson’s own, or the backlash from beating up an aged, beloved legend.