Stephen A. Smith ‘disgusted’ by Jake Paul vs. Mike Tyson being sanctioned as a professional boxing bout

Stephen A. Smith is outraged to hear that the terms for Jake Paul vs. Mike Tyson have been elevated.

Paul (9-1) vs. Tyson (50-6) will be officially sanctioned as a professional fight by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations. The bout takes place July 20 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the Dallas Cowboys, and streams live on Netflix. It will be an 8-round fight with 2-minute rounds.

Tyson will be 58 when he steps into the ring for the first time since November 2020, 31 years Paul’s senior. Smith went off on the bout being classified as professional.

“I’m sad – I’m saddened by it,” Smith said on ESPN’s First Take. “I’m disgusted by it. 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. And in Jake Paul’s case, the only real fighter he’s fought has been Tommy Fury, who’s not considered in the upper echelon in anybody’s mind. Jake Paul has been training with professional boxing trainers for years.

“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. I mean, come on man. Listen, 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 questions Paul’s approach. He doesn’t think his level of competition so far reflects his aspirations of becoming champion.

“I like Jake Paul and I appreciate what he does for the sport of boxing in terms of bringing attention to the sport and showing you can do it promoting yourself as opposed to being at the mercy of promoters,” Smith added. “The flip side to it, however, is that he keeps telling us how serious he’s taking this and how bad he wants it.

“Well, OK, if you want the money, please, keep doing your thing. But if it’s not just about that, and if it’s about you wanting to elevate your level, then you’ve got to get in the ring with somebody of your ilk, your age, your size because he’s fought dudes who are smaller than him by the way.”

For more on the fight, visit MMA Junkie’s hub for Paul vs. Tyson.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie