Jake Paul, a popular YouTuber, suffered his first loss in professional boxing on Sunday night when he was defeated by Tommy Fury by a split decision.
The younger half-brother of heavyweight champion Tyson Fury was knocked out by Paul (6-1) early in the final round of their cruiserweight fight, but he dominated for large portions of the eight-round contest at Diriyah Arena.
Fury (9-0, 4 KOs) won the fight with a score of 76-73 from two judges, while Paul had a 75-74 advantage.
Paul declared, “I’ve already triumphed in every aspect of life. “I went above and beyond where I ever imagined I would. It’s humbling to go through this. I’ll take it in stride and return.
Paul, who built a successful second career by competing against mixed martial artists and a fellow YouTuber in boxing matches that attracted enormous social media attention despite having more enthusiasm than skill, fought Fury for the first time as an actual professional boxer.
Fury and Paul will likely face off in a match that is fairly even because Fury is better known as a famous sibling and is more successful as a reality television star. Fury’s undefeated record came from victories over a string of utterly outclassed opponents who had combined records of 24-176-5.
At the age of 23, I had the weight of the world on my shoulders in my first main event, and I won, according to Fury. “This is a world title fight in my opinion. I put in a lot of training for this. This was to be my fate.
In the first four rounds in front of a star-studded audience in Saudi Arabia, both boxers had their moments, but Fury scored more significant blows thanks to a steady jab that allowed him to keep Paul at a distance.
Early in the fifth round, Paul appeared to knock Fury out with an accurate left hook, but he also lost a point when the referee called him out for allegedly pushing Fury’s head down while they were in a clinch. In the sixth round, the referee reportedly deducted Fury a point for excessive clinching.
Despite suffering a cut from a head collision near his left eye, Fury had a strong seventh round, repeatedly tagging Paul with combinations. Paul, however, abruptly changed the momentum with a precisely timed left that wobbled Fury, who immediately stood back up after placing his left glove on the floor to steady himself.
Fury made a strong finish and won the ruling.
Paul and Fury had two previous meetings scheduled, but Fury was unable to attend both contests. He suffered a rib injury ahead of their fight in December 2021, and he was turned away from the United States last summer before a scheduled meeting in August.
The tension that grew during a contentious weigh-in earlier this week in Saudi Arabia, which jumped at the chance to sponsor this boxing spectacle and social media event, was used by Paul to taunt Fury.
“I had a dream, I had a vision that I would win this fight all the way through these 2 and a half years,” Fury said. “Nobody gave me credit. I can now stand up so that everyone can see.
Cristiano Ronaldo of Al Nassr, Kevin Hart, and a number of boxers, including Mike Tyson, Deontay Wilder, Devin Haney, and Tyson Fury, who had publicly urged his younger sibling to end Paul’s career with a knockout, were in the arena outside of Riyadh.