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Mike Tyson, Jake Paul exchange insults as second joint press conference turns darker

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If there’s a script for the promotion of the Mike TysonJake Paul fight, it flipped on Thursday.

The boxers finally took the gloves off —metaphorically, that is — as they exchanged insults rather than smiles.

Three days after a playful faceoff between the fighters fueled speculation the fight is rigged, the tone was noticeably darker and more contentious when Tyson, 57, and Paul, 27, appeared at a press conference in Arlington, Texas.

Unlike New York, the site of the kickoff press conference Monday, the crowd helped set the tone when it greeted Paul with boos and broke into profane chants of “(Expletive), Jake Paul!’’

Paul chanted along and Tyson joined in, too, during an event to hype the heavyweight bout, which is scheduled to be held July 20 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The fighters, prompted by emcee Brian Custer, addressed speculation their heavyweight boxing match is rigged.

“Well, clearly they don’t have a high IQ in here, but that’s a federal crime,’’ Paul said.

Tyson was asked to respond to speculation the script called for him to lose to Paul, who fought his second pro bout on the undercard of Tyson’s exhibition against Roy Jones Jr. in 2020.

“Well, just come to the fight and you’ll see,” Tyson said. “Listen, I started Jake off and I’m going to finish him.”

The crowd cheered, and Paul seized the moment.

“Hey, I hope you all keep the same energy when I knock this old man the (expletive) out,’’ Paul barked.

Tyson seemed genuinely irritated by the antics of Paul and briefly walked off at the end of the press conference during the ceremonial faceoff. This time included no smiles and no laughter.

Why did Buster Douglas’ name come up?

One exchange between the fighters involved Paul’s weight. Paul said he’s gained weight for the fight and looks noticeably bigger.

Or, as Tyson put it, “He’s fat.’’

“Hey, Buster Douglas was fat,’’ Paul shot back, referring to the boxer who in 1990 knocked out Tyson in one of the biggest upsets in sports history and handed Tyson the first loss of his career. “Am I right?”

Said Tyson, “I know, but you’re no Buster Douglas.’’

“I’m better, I’m better,’’ Paul said. “And I’m going to end you quicker than he did. And you’ll remember that forever.

“You started me off. I appreciate that. Mike, I love you, I love you. Like a father loves his son but I must discipline you. You’re going down, old man.’’

 “OK,’’ Tyson said, “I love you, too.’’

Mike Tyson unimpressed with Jake Paul’s KO list

Paul (9-1) has won by knockout in six of those fights. Don’t count Tyson (50-6, 44 KOs) among those impressed.

“He can’t even knock out Nick Diaz,’’ Tyson said, referring to Nick Diaz’s brother, Nate, the UFC star Paul beat by unanimous decision in August 2023. “Nick Diaz is 40 pounds. How’s he going to knock me out?”

Tyson also referred to Anderson Silva, the UFC legend Paul beat by unanimous decision in 2022.

“He couldn’t even knock out those little guys. How’s he going to knock me out?” Tyson said, also noting that Paul failed to knock out Tommy Fury, who beat Paul by split decision in 2023.

“Who did he knock out?” Tyson asked of Paul. “Little children.

“He never rocked out a real man. Come on.’’

Responded Paul, “Look, he’s right. I can’t stand here and say I did those things. But what I promise to the people is that on July 20th, Mike will be put to sleep and he will feel my power and I will go down as the man who put Tyson to sleep for the last time.”

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