‘Boxing’s biggest b***h’ Tommy Fury vs ‘impostor’ Jake Paul: The history of their boxing rivalry and why the two hate each other


Fury and Paul settle their long-running beef on Sunday (Picture: Rex/Getty/PA)

A very modern boxing rivalry comes to a head on Sunday as Jake Paul and Tommy Fury finally meet at the third time of asking in Saudi Arabia.

But it was heavyweight king and Tommy’s half-brother Tyson Fury who lit the fuse on a fight that has raged for two years on social media ahead of the opening bell.

On a weekend that saw Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez destroy Anvi Yildirim in the first weekend of March in 2021, Fury gleefully shared viewing figures that suggested Tommy’s knockout victory over Scott Williams at the Copper Box Arena on BT Sport the same night had trounced Canelo and DAZN in the ratings war.

It would turn out that ‘The Gypsy King’ had been duped by fake figures, but it still served to set the wheels in motion.

‘I didn’t even know he had a brother’

Paul’s response set the tone. ‘I didn’t even know he had a brother,’ he said in a not-so-thinly-veiled dig a the former Love Island star.

‘I like Tyson Fury, I don’t want beef with Tyson Fury but damn, if Tyson Fury took a s**t it would be this little brother, he’s literally like this little kid,’ Paul added, also urging Tommy to stop letting his brother fight his battles for him.

Boxing in London - Tyson Fury v Derek Chisora

WBC champion Fury had a had in sparking the rivalry (Picture: Getty)

In a quite frankly weird riposte, Fury donned blonde hair extensions and his worst American accent to hit back at Paul, who was in training for a fight against former MMA fighter Ben Askren that April.

Paul would do the business against the accomplished wrestler and former welterweight champion, knocking him out in one round to extend his record to 3-0 having previously stopped fellow YouTuber AnEsonGib and NBA star Nate Robinson. In the aftermath, Fury announced he was now ‘ready top give the people what they want’ and silence ‘The Problem Child’.

Fury mocked his rival on social media.

Fury mocked his rival on social media.

Things get personal

Focus briefly shifted away from their beef as Paul got involved in a wild brawl with ring legend Floyd Mayweather Jr in a press conference for a fight with his brother Logan.

But the spotlight was back on Fury soon after when a row erupted with Fury’s partner Molly-Mae Hague rubbishing claims she had slid into the YouTuber’s DMs.

‘Might be coming to America later this year and have always been a fan of your videos,’ the alleged message from the star to Hague read. ‘Maybe you can show me around?!’

The message was shown to be another fake and while the social media digs kept coming, the fight was still someway off with Paul next targeting former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley in August 2021 – duly dispatching the American via a split decision.

On the same night, Fury eased to a win over Paul’s training partner Anthony Taylor on the undercard with talks for the two to meet finally taking serious steps forward in the second half of the year.

First fight falls through after injury

Over six months on from their first verbal spars, a fight date was agreed. 18 December 2021 in Miami was set to finally bring the two together. On that occasion, we got as far as a chaotic and downright nasty press conference that saw Fury joined by brother Tyson and father John with Paul joining via video link from his swimming pool in Puerto Rico.

Fury Snr, furious with Paul for wearing his shades throughout the farcical show, made derogatory comments over the American’s girlfriend Julia Rose and… squared up to the television screen. ‘Can we wrap up then? Before my dad gets himself into a world of trouble,’ Fury said before proceedings were brought to a close.

An irate John Fury rose from his chair to berate Paul (Picture: BT Sport Boxing)” />

An irate John Fury rose from his chair to berate Paul (Picture: BT Sport Boxing)

After all that, fight night never came with Fury forced to withdraw after suffering a rib injury and a bacterial chest infection, leading to Paul christening him ‘the biggest b***h in boxing.’

Paul went onto face Woodley for a second time, donning a t-shirt bearing the message ‘this could have been you Tommy’ in the days leading up his devastating knockout win over the former UFC star.

Jake Paul, left, looks back after knocking out Tyron Woodley during the sixth round of a Cruiserweight fight Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Paul left Woodley flat on the mat in December 2021 (Picture: Getty)

Paul intended at that point to move on, spending the early months of 2022 calling out Conor McGregor, Mike Tyson and Canelo Alvarez while also sticking his promotional hat on alongside Eddie Hearn for the historic title fight between Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano last May.

Another fight collapse  

Talks resumed and there was another breakthrough, a new fight date agreed for 6 August 2022 at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden. For the second time in nine months however, it fell through when Fury was denied entry to the US while attempting to travel State-side for a fight press conference.

Paul appeared to spoil the baby announcement (AP/@mollymae)

Paul appeared to spoil the baby announcement (AP/@mollymae)

A furious Paul again insisted the fight was off for good. His frustrations that summer continued when stand-in replacement Hasim Rahman Jr was unable to – or refused, depending on which side you listen to – make weight for their contest.

Paul then recorded perhaps his most impressive win to date, beating UFC legend Anderson Silva in a close fight last October. The Brazilian is the only fighter on Paul’s record to have prior boxing experience having fought four times under professional rules earlier in his career.

Third time lucky?

The new year brought new hope with John Fury telling Metro.co.uk in January a new deal had been agreed for 26 February.

The two fighters came face-to-face for the first time in the ring for an intense stare down during the Anthony Yarde vs Artur Beterbiev fight at Wembley Arena at the end of the month, with security separating them as things threatened to boil over.

There was still time for more shenanigans amid it all with Paul appearing to announce the birth of Hague and Fury’s first child before the couple had the chance to share the news themselves. ‘Tommy has no excuses now… Baby’s born. Money’s massive. Immigration no issue,’ he wrote on Twitter.

In another comment on the couple’s Instagram post of them together with their new-born, Paul wrote: ‘Just in time to watch your dad get knocked out.’

Two days out from fight night, both fighters and their teams are out in Riyadh and took part in a predictably chaotic final press conference on Thursday before a final-weigh-in tomorrow.

Surely nothing else can go wrong. Right?

MORE : ‘You’re a performing clown’ – Carl Froch responds to Jake Paul after YouTuber calls out former world champion

MORE : Molly-Mae Hague ‘blocks’ Jake Paul and his entire team on social media before Tommy Fury fight

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