Fury wins split decision to hand Paul first loss
Jake Paul’s unbeaten streak in boxing has come to an end.
Tommy Fury, the half-brother of heavyweight great Tyson Fury, beat Paul, the YouTuber-turned-prizefighter, via split decision (74-75, 76-73, 76-73) in a close bout Sunday in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.
Fury landed the cleaner shots throughout the fight, but Paul came back with a knockdown in the eighth and final round to make things extremely tight.
“Tonight, I make my own legacy,” Fury said. “I am Tommy Fury.”
The bout had been put together twice before but canceled both times. The two were supposed to fight in December 2021 and again in August 2022, but Fury had an injury and health issues the first time and travel woes the second time.
The two went hard at each other in interviews and on social media over the past two-plus years heading into the grudge match. Paul is most known for his social media exploits but he has taken the boxing world by storm over the past three years, becoming a featured attraction in the ring.
Fury, a reality show star in the U.K., was his toughest and most experienced opponent in boxing by a wide margin. Paul was a slight favorite.
It was a highly anticipated fight. The likes of Kevin Hart, Cristiano Ronaldo, Mike Tyson, Deontay Wilder and, of course, Fury’s older brother Tyson were ringside. Both Paul and Fury have substantial followings on social media.
“This is my first main event,” Fury said. “I’m only going to go stronger, I’m going to go bigger, I’m only going to go better. … If he wants a rematch, bring it on.”
Fury was more active overall. He landed double the number of power punches, 49-24, and averaged 38 punches thrown and 11 landed over the eight rounds, per CompuBox. Paul averaged 20 punches and six landed per round. Fury landed more jabs, too, 39-25.
Things got a bit strange in the middle rounds. Referee Hector Afu deducted a point from Paul in the fifth for pushing Fury’s head down in clinches. Then, in the sixth, Afu interjected himself again, taking a point from Fury for apparently too much clinching.
Fury had a lot of success in the sixth and seventh rounds, using his reach and landing combinations against Paul, who appeared to be a bit tired. But Paul dug deep in the final round, dropping Fury with a jab and keeping himself in the bout.
Paul has a rematch clause in the contract and intimated he will use it. He said he thought he won the fight and didn’t agree with the scores. Paul added that he had had a health issue in training camp and was dealing with an arm injury.
“I’ve already won in life,” Paul said. “I’ve won in every single way. I have an amazing family, amazing friends, amazing work ethic. I made it farther than I ever thought I would and beyond. This is a humbling experience. I’ll take it on the chin and come back.”
Fury (9-0) is just 23 years old and Paul was his first big-name opponent. The England native walked out in a robe honoring his newborn daughter, Bambi.
Paul (6-1) owns victories over MMA stars Anderson Silva, Tyron Woodley and Ben Askren. The 26-year-old Cleveland native, who trains out of Puerto Rico, has also signed with the PFL to compete in MMA.
“Don’t judge me by my wins,” Paul said. “Judge me by my losses. I’ll come back. I think we deserve that rematch.”
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