MMA veteran Anthony Taylor has found himself a lucrative gig training with social-medi- personality-turned-boxer Jake Paul.
The 32-year-old Alameda, Calif., native has compiled a 7-5 record in the cage while competing for organizations such as Bellator MMA, Combate Americas and the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts. His last bout came in January 2020, when he captured a majority decision against Chris Avila at Bellator 238. Since then, however, “Pretty Boy” turned down a chance to fight in order to train with Paul.
"I had the opportunity to fight in Cage Warriors but I couldn't pass up the money Jake was offering,” Taylor told Betway Insider US. “I’m getting paid more money as Jake's training partner in two months than I made in my whole entire MMA career in six years. I swear to God, I made more money with Jake in two months than my whole MMA career.
“That’s disturbing when you think about it, because I fought for Bellator. I’ve fought two top five contenders in Bellator and I had a good run. It’s time to take it up a notch and fight for the UFC.”
For now, Taylor will compete on the undercard of the Paul vs. Tyron Woodley headliner, when he squares off against Tommy Fury, the half-brother of heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury. The event takes place at Rocket Mortgage Arena in Cleveland and airs via pay-per-view on Showtime at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
"I’m about to bloody him up, he’s going to be in a dog fight. Tommy is not ready for me, Tommy is not ready to be taken into the trenches. He’s underestimating me, he’s looking over me,” Taylor said. “He thinks he is flying into Cleveland to win and then face off with Jake, but he ain’t even going to see Jake that night.”
"I’m going to test his chin for the first time and I’m going to shock the world. He has nothing I haven’t seen before. He’s going in the second round by TKO. He’ll regret overlooking me. I’m working hard, I'm hungry. He’s not that skilled. I want what he has; the money, the status, everything. I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. If I lose then it’s just an MMA fighter losing to a boxer. But if I win this fight, I'm a megastar.”
MMA fighters transitioning to boxing has become all the rage of late, with Woodley following in the footsteps of Roufusport training partner Ben Askren into a fight with Paul. Askren fell to Paul via first-round KO in April, but Woodley, a former UFC welterweight champion, would seem to be a more difficult test for the YouTube star.
Taylor, however, sees Woodley as having bitten off a little more than he can chew with his transition to the Sweet Science.
"Tyron is a lot more athletic than Askren. But Tyron does not have that experience of boxing, it’s not like he’s taken a year off to box. You’re talking about a guy that’s coming off four or five losses and just practicing MMA, you can’t expect him to be a world class boxer in three months,” Taylor said. “There’s levels to boxing. Jake’s been training for the past two and half years nonstop. He’s a workaholic and this man is putting in the work.
"When you put a guy like Jake in the boxing ring with a guy like Tyron, Jake’s going to win that all day, just because he’s been working on the repetition and the mechanics of boxing. Tyron technically has a punchers chance but Jake is a better boxer. Tyron is a better fighter because of his MMA background, but Jake is a better boxer.
"There’s a lot of people that think Tyron is going to knock out Jake. But I see it the other way around. He’s looking great."
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