Oscar De La Hoya has urged Jake Paul (9-1, 6 KOs) to take boxing seriously after Paul’s promotional firm, Most Valuable Promotions, announced that the Youtube star turned boxer will face former heavyweight world champion Mike Tyson (50-6, 44 KOs) on July 20 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Paul, who fought to a first-round stoppage win against Ryan Bourland last week in Puerto Rico, claimed (optimistically) afterward that he wanted to face undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez. Instead, he quickly lined up a fight with Tyson, which is, frankly, dangerous and grotesque.

Tyson will be 58 years old when he takes to the ring against Paul, who is 30 years Tyson’s junior.

De La Hoya, speaking to FightHype, reiterated what has become a consensus among fight fans – that Paul should take the sport seriously and not subject the public to his desire feed his popularity.

“Jake Paul, you say you want to be a world champion, you say you want to take this sport seriously – then take it seriously,” De La Hoya said. “What is this? This is not a popularity contest. I’m actually praising Jake Paul for taking this [sport] seriously, because I really feel that if he fights the right fights and takes the right path to that world title, he can actually get there.”

De La Hoya added that if Paul is to get himself into the world-title picture, fighting against a broken-down Tyson would do him very little in pursuing and making that ambition a reality. 

“I’m not sure – because it’s up to him if he can win it – but he can get there, De La Hoya said. “But he’s not going to get there through Mike Tyson. He’s going to make a s**t-ton of money. He’s going to gain more popularity at Mike Tyson’s expense. Do I like it? No, because I love Mike Tyson.”

Despite the age discrepancy between Paul and Tyson, and in light of Tyson’s realistic physical capabilities, De La Hoya believes that Tyson will be able to last up to eight rounds due to his experience. Tyson hasn’t fought in a professional ring since 2005, in a sixth-round retirement against Kevin McBride. But he did appear in a November 2020 exhibition fight against Roy Jones Jr. as his last appearance in a ring.

“It will not be dangerous for Tyson because Tyson has been in the ring with monsters,” De La Hoya said. ”He has a chin. I’m sure he can still go six rounds, seven rounds, eight rounds. But I’m just concerned about Tyson’s legacy.”