Anthony Smith Praises Jake Paul, Weighs In On Jon Jones And Francis Ngannou’s Heavyweight Champion Debate

"Lionheart" weighed in on the aftermath of Jake Paul's first loss and the potential storyline between Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou.

Smith On Jake Francis Jones
Smith On Jake Francis Jones - Image Credit @Michaelbispingpodcast Youtube/ @francisngannou @ jonnybones Instagram
  • Anthony Smith credited Jake Paul’s “aura” but he doesn’t think the YouTuber is ready for the next level in boxing
  • “Lionheart” thinks Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou’s recent debate is only good for marketing at this point

Anthony Smith thinks Jake Paul did everything right across the board despite losing to Tommy Fury and Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou’s recent exchange is good for marketing.

Jake has it

Speaking to “Believe You Me” podcast, Smith said that one thing Paul proved to everybody is that he’s got that superstar “aura” and he did the right thing when he stepped up against a real boxer.

“I think that Jake Paul has that effect where I think he can really change the course of a fight just by his his aura you know like Anderson Silva had the Anderson Silva effect, the Jon Jones effect, the George St-Pierre, if you know what I mean, I think they all had it and I think he has that a little bit… he’s just such a different creature in this in this sport. You could tell that Tommy was feeling it a little bit,” Smith said.

However, “Lionheart” pointed out that apart from drawing attention and hyping up a fight, Paul, as well as Fury, is not ready for some high-level boxing yet.

“In terms of the excitement of the competition, I thought it was great, especially, in the later round I thought they really picked it up. It was an exciting fight, it had me glued to my TV. It was riveting in terms of like high level boxing. It’s just they’re both kind of right there with each other. Tommy Fury is obviously a little more polished and been doing it longer and I think that was clear as far as his experience but you know, I don’t think either one of those guys right now beat anybody super high-level in boxing but I got it I’ve been saying this whole time Jake Paul needs to fight a real boxer, he did, he stood in there with him and kept it kept it close I gotta give him his due a little bit and so I think for he fought the right opponent, in the right stage, under the right circumstances, I have to give him his due for that,” he added.

It’s marketing after all

Fight fans have been buzzing about Jones’ heavyweight debut and the possibility of him becoming the new heavyweight champion. Ngannou, meanwhile, claimed that regardless of how things play out at UFC 285, he’s still the undisputed heavyweight champion because he never lost. Jones hit back and said he’s been ready to face Ngannou for months but “The Predator” chose to leave just before he makes his return.

For Smith, the entire exchange makes a case for a good storyline if the two will end up fighting each other. But as of now, it’s all marketing.

“It seems more like a contract negotiation talking point more than anything to be honest with you. Well if you’re going into a negotiation with another organization right now it seems like that’s something you would say if you were Francis Ngannou team right? and I think it’s just it seems like it’s a sound bite and I understand Jon Jones taking an issue with that because if he goes in here and and then wins you know and he doesn’t want the narrative to be well you never beat Francis so you’re not the real Champion that’s a very similar thing that DC dealt with you’re not the real champion because you never beat Jon Jones,” Smith assessed.

Jones will take on No. 1 heavyweight contender Ciryl Gane at UFC 285 this weekend. Smith has yet to go to details with his prediction but he backs “Bones” to get the job done.

“Just real quickly, I I mean I got a lot of respect and I think that Ciryl Gane has a lot to bring to the table I do think that I have to look at it as if Jon Jones is going to come back somewhere near the person he was before because I don’t have any evidence that says otherwise so I do have to stick with Jon Jones. I think he has more tools,” Smith predicted.

Paul is calling for a rematch with Fury as he vows to become a better fighter in the second meeting. Jones, meanwhile, will make his long-awaited return and heavyweight debut at UFC 285 after being inactive since 2020.

Published on February 28, 2023 at 12:14 pm
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