Tommy Fury Hands Jake Paul First Loss By Split Decision
For almost four years we’ve been wondering what would happen, if and when, Jake Paul fought a real boxer? Well, now we have the answer, as Sunday night in Saudi Arabia Tommy Fury, the half brother of WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, defeated Paul by split decision in an eight round cruiserweight main event.
Fury’s victory capped off the Queensbury promotion / MVP promotions card in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia,
— Boxing on BT Sport 🥊 (@BTSportBoxing) February 26, 2023
The 23-year-old Fury was clearly the more skilled and active fighter throughout, as the bout went on and that had been one of the biggest criticisms of the social media star Jake Paul’s caliber of opponents. Fury repeatedly landed with right hands and got the better of the action in close with lefts to the body.
The fight was not without some intrigue and controversy, as referee Hector Afu penalized both fighters taking a point away. The first was Paul, now 6-1, losing a point for excessive holding in round five and then, Fury for the same thing in round 6. Next, there was drama in the 8th and final round, when early on Paul scored a solid left jab, which knocked Fury off balance and down for the first and only knock down of the bout.
However, like much of the rest of the seven previous rounds, Paul wasn’t able to capitalize by landing any significant punches together. Fury wasn’t seriously hurt and the bout saw the final bell.
The final punch stats revealed that Fury, now 9-0, had outlanded Paul 85 – 49 in power punches over the fight, further underscoring he deserved the win.
“Tonight I made my own legacy. I am Tommy Fury,” said Fury crying in the ring. “All through these two and half years I had a dream, a vision, that I would win this fight. Now I can stand up and every can take note. My first main event at 23 years old I had the world on me. I had pressure on my shoulders and I came through.”
The fight was two years in the making, as Fury had backed out of it on two occasions. One of those was for what he claimed was an injury for their original December 2021 meeting. And, the second time in the Summer of last year he had visa problems and did not make the trip to the United States to fight Paul.
But, the third time “was the charm” and the Middle East was the site. In the end, critics of Paul will point to that the first time he got in with a legitimate skilled boxer he didn’t know what to do. This after scoring wins over former NBA basketball player Nate Robinson and MMA fighters Ben Askren, Tyron Woodley and Anderson Silva. Although Paul had six victories, none of those had significant boxing experience.
As for Fury, he was not only an amateur fighter for over a year but had fought eight times as a professional as a light heavyweight or cruiserweight. And Sunday night, Paul showed class saying,
“All respect to Tommy, he won. Don’t judge me by my wins, join me by my losses. I’ll come back. I think we deserve that rematch. That was a great fight, a close fight. I don’t know if I agree. I got a 10-8 round twice. So, it is what it is. Look, I’ve already won in life, man. I’ve won in every single way….I’ve made if farther than I ever thought that I would. This is definitely a humbling experience. I’ll take it on the chin, get back in the gym and we can run it back.”
And, it should be pointed out that Paul does have a rematch clause that he can exercise, and because the fight was a lucrative one for both Sunday night it will most likely happen again probably later in 2023.
For now, though Sunday night belongs, yet again to the Fury family, and specifically Tommy Fury, who not only didn’t get knocked out like many believed, but was the better fighter in Saudi Arabia.