Tommy Fury had to do a double take when first asked about fighting Jake Paul.
The rivalry has been developing between the pair of unbeaten boxing novices and out-of-ring celebrities, complete with Fury being strategically placed on the undercard of Paul’s last Pay-Per-View headliner. Both walked away with wins this past August 29, though with Fury leaving the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland uncertain of when he would secure the chance for the two to settle their differences in the ring.
To his delight, the offer came soon thereafter.
“I feel like I won the lottery,” Fury exclaimed via Zoom during a press conference Monday afternoon at Amelie Arena in Tampa, where he and Paul will headline a December 18 Showtime Pay-Per-View. “You’re asking me to fight absolutely nobody on a massive world stage. You’re going to pay me nicely and comfortably. All I’ve got to do is fight Jake Paul, a YouTuber.
“I’m going to splatter this man on December 18. I’ve won the lottery. I’m begging Jake Paul, please do not pull out.”
Among the heap of criticism bestowed upon Paul (4-0, 3KOs) is the fact that he has yet to face an actual boxer since turning pro last January. The 24-year-old content creator and social media influencer has parlayed his online celebrity status into a lucrative pro career, one which has come versus a fellow YouTuber (AnEsonGib), a retired former NBA star (Nate Robinson) and a pair of retired former MMA champions (Ben Askren, Tyron Woodley).
Upon the demand to next face an actual boxer, Paul set his sights on the most notable name on his level who fit the bill. That led to Manchester’s Fury, an unbeaten but untested prospect best known as the younger half-brother of reigning lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (31-0-1, 22KOs) and for his stint on U.K. reality show Love Island.
The timing was perfect, given their built-in rivalry and already on the same schedule. Paul claimed a split decision win over Woodley atop the August 29 Showtime Pay-Per-View, a five-fight telecast which opened with Fury taking a four-round, unanimous decision over Paul stablemate Anthony Taylor (0-2).
The way Fury sees it, the opportunity benefits two-fold. He gets to face someone far more credible than has been the case through his first three years as a pro, while getting paid far more than the market price for fighters at a similar stage in their career.
“Normally when you get to this stage in boxing, you have to fight for a world title,” noted Fury. “You’re asking me to fight a YouTuber. Sign me up, please!”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox