Tommy Fury defeated Jake Paul via split decision in Saudi Arabia – but it wasn’t without its drama and controversy.
Fury was the rightful winner in the end – with the judges calling the fight 76-73, 76-73, 74-75 in his favour – but with a point deduction and a knockdown against his name, it was far from plain sailing.
This fight between the British former Love Island contestant and an American who found fame through YouTube was the result of over two years of social media warfare that saw a clash culminate only at the third time of asking.
Fury had to pull out of the two previously arranged contests and was bombarded with claims that he was scared to fight the seemingly less decorated boxer in Paul.
The 23-year-old always maintained he had to pull out of his dates with Paul for legitimate injury and visa-related reasons. It’s no wonder after finally being able to prove himself right that the Mancunian was moved to tears as he was announced the victor.
In the fight, TNT appeared the more stylish and composed fighter from the very first round. He had a clear style that was predicated on his left jab that Paul really struggled to work out.
Tommy Fury (above) beat Jake Paul in their highly-anticipated clash on Sunday evening
Fury and Paul went toe-to-toe on Sunday evening in Saudi Arabia. Fury beat Paul via split decision – with one judge scoring it 75-74 to Paul and the other two scoring it 76-73 to Fury
This fight between the British former Love Island contestant and an American who found fame through YouTube was the result of over two years of social media warfare
Paul carries power and that seemed to have Fury’s respect. The first two rounds were quite easily Fury’s as he jabbed his way out of Paul’s sweet spot.
Paul couldn’t get his overhand right, but in the third round he did enjoy more success when he stopped trying to knock out Fury like he promised and he tried to box with him.
In the fifth round, Paul was deducted a point for hitting Fury in the back of the head. Already 3-1 down on most scorecards, the YouTube star needed nothing less than a knockout from that point onwards.
Paul seldom had the momentum of the fight. He purely wanted to land his favoured overhand right and Fury showed enough skill to negate that threat – though his bloody nose showed not all of Paul’s efforts were in vein.
In the sixth round, the referee took a point of Fury for holding, giving Paul hope he is within touching distance once more. That gave Paul another lease of life, but Fury still had far greater class in the general exchanges.
The final round is where the controversy came and if the script earlier in the day was indeed fake, this wasn’t bad if someone conjured a new one.
Fury dedicated his victory to his baby girl Bambi and his long-term girlfriend Molly-Mae
Paul did manage to land a few good punches and even floored Fury in the final round
Paul was devastated after the fight and blamed illness and an arm injury for the loss
Fury was in tears after proving himself right in his biggest fight yet against the 26-year-old
Despite two years of animosity, Paul and Fury had a lot of respect at the end of the contest
Both fighters have said they would be open to a rematch after a thrilling bout on Sunday
Fury was knocked down in the opening seconds of the final round, but the Brit insisted he slipped and only put a hand down on the canvas. Replays show he had lost his footing with his lead leg, but it was at the same time Paul landed a flush jab.
At the end of the contest, Fury had his hand raised and Paul didn’t seem like he would contest that too much. The pair shared another nice moment in there as Fury shed tears after winning. What a reflection that is of how far Jake Paul has come!
The stars came out to see the fight that was over two years in the making. Tyson Fury was supporting his brother, of course, but his old foe Deontay Wilder also made the trip and he was joined by heavyweight legend Mike Tyson, football legend Cristiano Ronaldo and Hollywood A-lister Kevin Hart.
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