Tommy Fury has defeated Jake Paul in a split decision in Saudi Arabia on Monday morning, in a fight billed “The Truth”.
Fury controlled most of the fight, letting Paul tire himself out and lunging hard through the fight, not landing big hits until the final round.
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Drama ensued in a hectic eighth round, when Paul knocked down Fury with a hard right jab, and Fury, realising he was looking at a draw or possibly a loss on points, attacked with a barrage of controlled short jabs and grappling to short-circuit any late counter from Paul.
Both fighters were deducted a point during the fight, Paul for a shot to the back of the head and Fury for holding.
Social media blew off during the fight, with criticism of the apparent over-involvement of the refereeing.
Sports journalist Josh Bunting called the referee “absolutely mental” and “insane”, while MMA Fighting news editor Damon Martin said the referee wanted to be “part of the show”.
News Corp journalist Jamie Pandaram called the referee “rubbish”.
Paul’s reputation has been put to the sword on social media after the fact, with many people noting his previous undefeated record came against part-time fighters and other content creators, rather than full-time professionals.
Sportswriter Zain Bando said he was “glad the Jake Paul hype train has died”.
Former professional boxer and pundit Carl Froch was scathing, saying “(Paul) can’t call himself a professional boxer.”
“He’s bringing discredit and disgust to the world of professional boxing,” Froch said.
“He wasn’t really in the fight, let’s be honest,” he said.
Journalist Phillip O’Connor asked on Twitter: “Has anyone informed Jake Paul that there’s a punch in boxing called ‘the jab’ which is surprisingly useful?”
Ex-world champion Charlie Edwards also told Paul to walk away from professional boxing.
He said: “I am totally giving him credit mate!
“I take my hat off to him, 23 with the whole world watching and the pressure of having a new born baby. Got to give him credit.
“But still be realistic about becoming a world champion. He should just keep fighting these fight and getting paid.”
Former world champion Liam Smith was also scathing.
“Two absolute novices,” he Tweeted.
“Thank f*** the one who’s classed as a boxer won.
“Hard on Tommy cos his Fury name, but, he should stick in that market with jake n Logan Paul, KSI, all that type of misfits boxing and earn a lump of money.”
Former NRL star and boxer Sonny Bill Williams said “love him or hate him, he’s still the guy in these all of you paying to watch.”
“Now we really see what Jake Paul is made of,” he said.
The fight went the full eight rounds, with official stats showing Fury landed 88 punches to Paul’s 49.
Paul admitted after the fight that Fury deserved to win the contest, but also appeared to make excuses.
“I felt flat in there. I was really sick twice in this camp and I hurt my arm,” he said in the ring.
“I am not making excuses, but I was not 100 per cent. We want to run it back.”
Paul said after the fight he’d “already won in life.”
“I’ve won in every single way,” he said.
“I’ll take it on the chin and come back.”
Fury, meanwhile, was overcome with emotion after the fight and declared the result was the equivalent of winning a world title.
“These are tears of joy,” he said.
“Jake was a true warrior. He was a better man than I expected. He took good shots and he was much better than I thought he was.
“If he wants a rematch he can have it.”
Fury’s older brother Tyson, himself a two-time world heavyweight champion, took to social media to laugh at Paul’s loss, appearing to call him an “idiot”.