In what was possibly the most anticipated eight-round fight in boxing history, Tommy Fury defeated Jake Paul by split decision.
Fury, 23, was the busier boxer, hitting more precise blows and showcasing his foundations of the sport.
The brother of WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and former Love Island star was knocked out in the eighth round by YouTuber-turned-boxer Paul.
One judge gave Paul a score of 75–74, while the other two gave Fury a score of 76–73.
An emotional Fury, who has now triumphed in all one of his nine professional fights, said on BT Sport: “For the past two years, this has been everything that has occupied my life.”
Everyone assumed I was escaping out of fear, but tonight I created my own legacy.
“If he wants a rematch, bring it on,” Fury said after dedicating the fight to his newborn baby girl Bambi. “This is my first main event, I am going to get bigger and better.”
Paul, who suffered his first professional defeat in his eighth fight, said: “All credit to Tommy, he won. Judge me by my losses, not by my victories.
“I’m not sure if I agree with the judges, but that’s the boxing world. It is what it is.”
Saudi Arabia’s atmosphere and development
Mike Tyson observes as Tommy Fury versus Jake Paul
Mike Tyson, a former heavyweight world champion, was one of numerous fighters present.
Many celebrities from the sports and entertainment industries were present, while many more watched the match at home.
The open-air Diriyah Arena was filled with spectators, including footballer Cristiano Ronaldo and boxing great Mike Tyson.
The Home Alone actor Macaulay Culkin tweeted: “There’s no better way to celebrate your half birthday than to watch Jake Paul get pounded in the head repeatedly.” Pop star Drake posted a screenshot of his $400,000 (£335,000) wager on a Paul KO victory.
The famed Master of Ceremonies Michael Buffer introduced both competitors before the main event, which was treated like a real huge battle.
Fury, his trainer and father John Fury, and his brother Tyson entered the ring first. Fury was wearing all-white clothing with the name of his newborn daughter embroidered over his robe.
But as ‘The Problem Child’ Paul continued to pace back and forth in his dressing area, Fury waited patiently. When Paul eventually entered the room, the crowd booed loudly.
Unusually, the fight took place on a Sunday night, and despite the fact that both Paul and Fury have a sizable social media following among younger fans, the opening bell did not sound until over an hour past the scheduled time of 22:30 GMT (01:30 local).
The match was Saudi Arabia’s most recent and lucrative sporting occasion.
The Kingdom has invested billions to bring elite sport to its nation, but detractors, like Amnesty International, have charged that Saudi Arabia is attempting to’sportswash’ away the nation’s “abysmal” record on human rights.
What happened during the fight?
Thomas Fury prods In the eighth round, Jake Paul Fury (right) lost the fight.
After all the anticipation and hoopla, the bout started off shabbily. After a few well-placed jabs, Fury delivered the round’s opening significant blow, a left hook.
Fury adjusted during the second round and showed off by twisting his hand before hitting a flush blow while rocking Paul’s head back with a stinging jab.
Paul glanced Fury’s forehead with an overhand right, but otherwise wildly missed. He was watching the single power shots.
In the third, Paul began to employ his jab and was successful. Then, in an odd turn of events, Paul’s brother Logan insulted Fury and his family while being interviewed ringside in front of everyone in the crowd.
The fight had already caused a rift in the boxing community, and this incident in between rounds is likely to have strengthened the opinions of purists who believe it is mocking the game.
The remarks appeared to motivate Fury, who in the fourth round landed a short right hand and a series of close-range punches, though Paul finished the round well with a series of cleaner shots.
Paul performed best in the fifth round, but a point was taken away from him for a blow to the back of the head. In the sixth round, Fury delivered several fantastic uppercuts, but he also lost a point for holding. The referee gave no prior warning to either boxer.
It was the first time in Fury’s career that he had lasted so long into a fight. The boxers were clearly exhausted by the seventh round. But because to his labor rate, the Britishman won the contest.
Fury was knocked out by a Paul jab in the final round, which was tense and in which both boxers were searching for the decisive punch. He claimed it was a slip to the referee and appeared more surprised than injured.
“It was my fate,”
According to the WBC, the victor will now be ranked among the top-40 fighters by the governing organization, which might theoretically open the door for a future opportunity at the world championship.
Many ardent boxing fans disapproved of the action because they believed that other fighters deserved to be ranked more highly.
Paul has called out the top boxers in the sport in his brief tenure thus far, much to the chagrin of those supporters.
One of the finest boxers in terms of pound-for-pound talent, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, as well as more recently, former British world champion Carl Froch, have been cited by him.
However, he lost his first battle to a man with a background in boxing. He had previously competed against MMA fighters Ben Askren, Tyron Woodley, Anderson Silva, YouTuber AnEson Gib, and ex-NBA basketball player Nate Robinson.
“I have already won in every single aspect in life,” he declared. “I’ve come a lot farther than I ever imagined. We can take it back, but I’ll take it on the chin.
Fury was warned by his father and brother that they would disown him if he lost before the battle.
The victor declared, “I had a dream and a vision the entire time that I would win this fight, but now everyone can stand up and take note.”
“I was under pressure, but I pulled through. For me, this is a world title battle because this was my destiny.