Mark RaimondiESPN staff writer4 minutes of reading
Jack Paul’s incredible streak in boxing has come to an end.
Tommy Fury, the half-brother of heavyweight great Tyson Fury, defeated YouTuber-turned-prizefighter Paul by split decision (74-75, 76-73, 76-73) in a close bout on Sunday in Diyarah, 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 very tight.
“Tonight, I’m creating my own legacy,” Fury said. “I’m Tommy Fury.”
The match was tied together twice, but was canceled both times. The two were due to fight in December 2021 and again in August 2022, but Fury had injury and health issues the first time and travel issues the second time around.
The two have gone into a grudge match over the past two years, lashing out at each other in interviews and on social media. Paul is best known for his social media exploits, but he has taken the boxing world by storm over the past three years and become a special attraction in the ring.
Fury, a reality show star in England, was his toughest and most experienced opponent in boxing. I liked the milk a little.
This is a much anticipated fight. Kevin Hart, Cristiano Ronaldo, Mike Tyson, Deontay Wilder and, of course, Fury’s older brother Tyson were in the ring. Both Paul and Fury have substantial followings on social media.
“This is my first major event,” Fury said. “I’m only going stronger, I’m only going bigger, I’m only going better. … If he wants a rematch, bring it on.”
Fury was very active overall. He doubled the number of power punches, 49-24, and averaged 38 punches and landed 11 in eight rounds per compubox. Paul averaged 20 punches and landed six per round. Fury also jabbed to make it 39-25.
Things got a little weird in the middle rounds. Referee Hector Afu deducted a point from Paul in the fifth. Then, in the sixth, Aftu interrupted himself again, taking a point from Fury.
Fury landed plenty of hits 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, dropping Fury with a jab and keeping himself in the bout.
Paul has a no-match clause in his contract and has announced that he will use it. He said he thought he won the fight and disagreed with the scores. Paul added that he had health problems in training camp and injured his hand.
“I’ve already succeeded in life,” Paul said. “I’ve been successful in every way. I have an amazing family, amazing friends, amazing work ethic. I’ve made it above and beyond what I thought I would. It’s a humbling experience. I’ll take it on the chin. Come back.”
Fury (9-0) is just 23 years old and Paul is his first big-name opponent. The England native stepped out dressed in honor of her newborn daughter, Bambi.
Paul (6-1) has wins against MMA stars Anderson Silva, Tyrone Woodley and Ben Askren. The 26-year-old Cleveland native, who trains out of Puerto Rico, signed with the PFL to compete in MMA.
“Don’t judge me by my victories,” said Paul. “Judge me by my losses. I’ll be back. I think we deserve that rematch.”