JAKE PAUL fears a fight with Tommy Fury may collapse as he backed sparring partner Anthony Taylor to upset the odds… 'Rocky' style.
Fury will make his US debut against Taylor – an MMA fighter – on August 29, with Paul headlining the night against Tyron Woodley.
If all goes to plan and the celebrity pair both win, it perfectly paves the way for an expected pay-per-view fight between them straight after.
But Paul has warned not to count Taylor out, having sparred the Bellator lightweight in his past two training camps.
And he predicted a repeat of Sylvester Stallone's 1979 classic where his iconic Rocky character trumped Russian brute Ivan Drago.
For that reason, he told Fury not to make any future fight plans.
Paul, 24, told SunSport: "I expect a Rocky-Drago, upset.
"Anthony is a great fighter, he's a tough kid and I think Tommy has a very hard fight against him coming up.
"And, I think he's underestimating his opponent. I think that's a terrible thing to do, and I want Anthony to win.
"I want him to beat Tommy, and be like, 'Yo, Tommy, you can't even beat my sparring partner, who are you going to beat me?'
"It's going to be a fun one one to watch."
I think he's underestimating his opponent. I think that's a terrible thing to do, and I want Anthony to win.
Fury, 22, is 6-0 in his career and turned professional in 2018 to much fanfare due to his older brother Tyson, 32, WBC heavyweight champion.
But his star power rocketed a year after when he featured on the hit reality TV show Love Island, coming runner-up with girlfriend Molly-Mae Hague.
Molly-Mae, 22, has also been dragged into the firing line thanks Paul and Taylor's viral videos, only adding to the feud.
As a result, the YouTuber, who is 3-0 in his own boxing career, stands to financially gain with Fury winning on his undercard.
But the multimillionaire social media sensation admitted money will not be on his mind when he cheers on Taylor, 32, against his online rival.
Paul said: "I don't need any economic interests, I already have plenty of economics going.
"There's a long list of people that want to fight me, so when and if Tommy Fury loses, there's plenty of other people and plenty of other fish in the sea to choose from."
PAUL VS FURY?
Paul faces his biggest step up to date against ex-UFC champion Woodley, 39, despite having won all his fights by knockout.
He has beaten YouTuber AnEsonGib', ex-NBA player Nate Robinson, 37, and most recently retired UFC welterweight Ben Askren, 37.
When Paul returns – in his home of Cleveland – he will do so with his new network, American powerhouse Showtime.
The CBS-owned network has also tied Fury down to a two-fight deal – leaving the door wide open for Paul to fight him.
He said: "It's not clear yet that it will be the next step.
"But, I wanted to have Tommy be exposed to the US market, be exposed to my audience.
"I wanted to give him the opportunity to potentially shine in front of the world.
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"Because, no one has ever bought a Tommy Fury pay-per-view or seen a Tommy Fury fight.
"This is his big moment, and it does potentially set us up for a fight in the future if we can both do what we're expected to do.
"Tommy's 'expected' to win, I'm expected to win, so if we both get through, yeah it builds that narrative for sure."
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