Fury wins split decision to hand Paul first loss

Jake Paul’s unbeaten streak in boxing has come to an end.

Tommy Fury, half-brother of the great heavyweight Tyson Fury, defeated Paul, the Youtuber-turned-prize fighter, by split decision (74-75, 76-73, 76-73) in a close bout on Sunday in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.

Fury landed more accurate punches throughout the fight, but Paul came back with a knockdown in the eighth and final round, making things extremely tense.

“I will create my own legacy tonight,” Fury said. “I’m Tommy Fury.”

The fight was already planned twice, but canceled both times. The two were scheduled to fight in December 2021 and again in August 2022, but Fury had injuries and health issues the first time and travel issues the second.

The two have been harshly critical of each other in interviews and on social media for the past two-plus years, heading towards a grudge match. Paul is best known for his social media exploits, but over the past three years he has taken the boxing world by storm, becoming a major attraction in the ring.

Fury, the UK reality TV star, was his toughest and most experienced opponent in boxing by a wide margin. Paul was a slight favorite.

It was a long awaited fight. Ringside players included Kevin Hart, Cristiano Ronaldo, Mike Tyson, Deontay Wilder and, of course, Fury’s big brother Tyson. Both Paul and Fury have a large following on social media.

“This is my first main event,” Fury said. “I’ll only get stronger, I’ll get bigger, I’ll only get better… If he wants a rematch, go for it.”

In general, Fury was more active. He landed twice as many hard punches, 49–24, and averaged 38 punches and 11 thrown over eight rounds at CompuBox. Paul averaged 20 punches and six hits per round. Fury also landed more jabs, 39-25.

In the middle of the round, things got a little weird. Referee Hector Afu deducted a point from Paul in the fifth for pushing Fury headfirst into clinches. Then, in the sixth, Afu interfered again, taking a point from Fury for clearly taking too much of a clinch.

Fury had great success in the sixth and seventh rounds, using his reach and landing combinations against Paul, who looked a bit tired. But Paul dug deep in the final round, knocking Fury down with a jab and saving himself in the fight.

There is a rematch clause in Paul’s contract, and he has made it clear that he will use it. He said he thought he won the fight and disagreed with the score. Paul added that he had health issues at training camp and was recovering from a hand injury.

“I’ve already won in life,” Paul said. “I won in every way. I have an amazing family, amazing friends, an amazing work ethic. I have progressed further than I ever thought, and more. It’s a humiliating experience. and come back.”

Fury (9-0) is only 23 years old and Paul was his first big-name opponent. A native of England came out in a dress in honor of 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 in Puerto Rico, also signed with the PFL to compete in mixed martial arts.

“Don’t judge me by my victories,” Paul said. “Judge me by my defeats. I’ll come back. I think we deserve this rematch.”


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