(CBS Sports) Social media star-turned-boxer Jake Paul finally answered the calls that he face a “real boxer” on Sunday, battling Tommy Fury in an eight-round cruiserweight fight. While Paul put up a solid fight, he came up short as Fury managed to escape with a split decision victory.
Fury came out far more aggressive than he had in past fights, bringing the fight right to Paul from the opening bell. That led quickly to the first clinch of the fight.
Those clinches would be a major part of the story of the bout, with both men grabbing to break up the rhythm of their opponent or to try to create a reset to get the fight back to distance. Unfortunately, the clinching was excessive enough that the referee began to play a bigger and bigger role as the fight wore on.
After multiple warnings, the referee took a point from Paul in the fifth round. Then, he deducted a point from Fury in the sixth. Ultimately, the point deductions evened out, but it created a strange tone to the second half of the fight.
Fury’s jab was a big factor throughout the fight, constantly popping Paul in the face and keeping Paul from gaining the comfort to stay in range and unload the big overhand rights that had dropped many opponents before.
Paul continued to fire back and would go through his own strong stretches when he was able to slow down Fury’s pace. But heading into Round 8, it appeared Fury would be up on the scorecards and that Paul needed to make something dramatic happen to flip the script.
Paul did deliver that dramatic moment with a perfectly timed left hand as Fury stepped forward, knocking Fury off balance just enough that he touched the canvas for a knockdown. Fury was not badly hurt by the shot and battled back to the final bell, but the addition of a 10-8 round in favor of Paul added a bit of extra drama in the moments before the official scorecards were read.
DOWN GOES FURY 😱😱😱 #PaulFury
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) February 26, 2023