Jake Paul vs. Tommy Fury: The Brit wins the match by decision


Tommy Fury defeated Jake Paul by split decision in perhaps the most anticipated eight-round contest in boxing history.

The 23-year-old Fury was the busier fighter, landing more accurate punches and showing off his boxing fundamentals.

The former Love Island star, brother of WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, was knocked down by YouTuber-turned-boxer Paul in the eighth round.

One judge scored it 75-74 in favor of Paul, while two others scored it 76-73 in favor of Fury.

“For the last two years it’s been my life,” an emotional Fury, who has won all nine of his professional fights so far, told BT Sport.

“Everybody thought I was running scared, but tonight I created my own legacy.”

Dedicating the fight to his newborn daughter Bambi, Fury added: “This is my first main event, I’m going to get bigger and better and if he wants a rematch, let him.”

Paul, who lost for the first time in his seventh pro fight, said: “All credit to Tommy, he won. Don’t judge me by my wins, judge me by my losses.

“I don’t know if I agree with the judges, that’s the way it is, but that’s the world of boxing.”

Development and atmosphere in Saudi Arabia

Former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson was one of several boxers in attendance

Several stars from the world of sports and entertainment were in attendance and many more watched the fight from home.

Boxing legend Mike Tyson and footballer Cristiano Ronaldo were among those in attendance at the Diriyah Arena in Riyadh.

Pop star Drake shared a screenshot of his $400,000 (£335,000) bet for Paul to win by knockout, while Home Alone actor Macaulay Culkin tweeted: “What better way to celebrate my half birthday than watching as Jake Paul is repeatedly hit on the head.”

The main event was fully decorated in a big fight format, with legendary master of ceremonies Michael Buffer introducing both fighters.

Dressed in white with his newborn daughter’s name emblazoned on his robes, Fury was the first to enter the ring with trainer and father John Fury and brother Tyson.

But as Fury waited patiently, “Problem Child” Paul was still pacing up and down his locker room as the mind games continued. When Paul did enter, the hall erupted in a chorus of boos.

Unusually, the fight took place on a Sunday night, and while both Paul and Fury boast large social media followings among younger fans, the first bell didn’t ring until 22:30 GMT (01:30 local time) – almost an hour later than planned.

The fight was the last profitable sporting event to take place in Saudi Arabia.

The kingdom has spent billions to bring elite sports to its country, but critics such as rights group Amnesty International have accused Saudi Arabia of trying to “wash” the country’s “appalling” human rights record from the sport.

How was the battle?

Tommy Fury drives Jake Paul
Fury (right) lost in the eighth round

After all the hype and anticipation, it was a choppy opening minute of the fight. Fury landed a pair of hard jabs and ended the round with the first significant blow, a left hook.

Fury settled in well in the second stage, snapping Paul’s head back with a sharp jab – and even demonstrated by spinning his arm and then delivering a flash.

When Paul was looking at single power punches, he looked at Fury’s forehead with a right hand, but otherwise missed wildly.

Paul began to use his jab and found success in the third. Then, somewhat surprisingly, Paul Logan’s brother was interviewed at ringside and, in plain view of everyone in the arena, he insulted Fury and his family.

The fight has already divided opinion in the boxing world, and the episode between the rounds is likely to further strengthen the opinions of traditionalists who believe it is a mockery of the sport.

Those comments seemed to spur Fury on as he connected with a short right hand and followed it up with a flurry of punches from distance in the fourth, although Paul finished the round well, landing the cleaner punches.

Paul was the best in the fifth round, but was deducted a point for a blow to the back of the head. Fury landed some stunning uppercuts in the sixth, but then was also docked a point for holding. The referee did not warn any of the fighters in advance.

The fighters were noticeably tired in the seventh, the first time in Fury’s career that he went so deep into the fight. But it was the Brit who won the round thanks to his work rate.

In a frenzied final round, with both boxers looking to land a striking blow, Fury hit the floor with a punch from Paul. He looked more surprised than offended and insisted the referee was wrong.

“It was my destiny”

The WBC said the winner will now be ranked in the top 40 by the sanctioning body, which could theoretically pave the way for a future world title fight.

It was a move that angered many hardcore boxing fans who believe there are more worthy fighters to appreciate.

In his short career so far, Paul has boldly – ​​and to the chagrin of these fans – called the best that boxing has to offer.

He mentioned the likes of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, one of the top pound-for-pound stars, and more recently former British world champion Carl Froch.

But he was defeated in his first fight against an opponent with a boxing background. He previously dated YouTuber Anson Gibb, ex-NBA basketball player Nate Robinson, and MMA fighters Ben Askren, Tyron Woodley, and Anderson Silva.

“In life, I’ve won in every way,” he said. “I’ve made it further than I ever thought I would. I’ll take it on the chin, but we can run it back.”

Before the fight, Fury’s father and brother told him that he would disown him if he lost.

“Everywhere I had a dream and an idea that I was going to win this fight, but now everyone can stand up and take note,” said the winner.

“There was pressure on my shoulders and I went out. For me, this fight for the title of world champion was my destiny.”

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