Tommy Fury became the first man to beat Jake Paul in the boxing ring on Monday when he secured the split decision against the American in Saudi Arabia. The eight round cruiserweight bout was the main event at the Diriyah Arena and a contest that has been in the works for more than two years.

Following a dirty opening stanza which saw both men hugging more than throwing, Fury opened up in the second and third as he used he jab to keep Paul at bay and set up the right hand. The Englishman was the aggressor and showed none of the ‘fear and insecurity’ his opponent had identified at the face offs.

In contrast, the YouTuber went looking to finish the fight with big single punches and landed a good right as well as some stiff jabs. Fury stepped up the pace as he took the initiative once more in the fourth, although Paul got him with a solid left had with 30 seconds left.

The Englishman’s superior boxing acumen shined through in the fifth with the 23 year old continuing to both throw and land more punches. Paul was penalised for a punch to the back of the head but did manage to rock the Englishman with a big punch later in the round.

There was less volume in the sixth, while Fury saw a point taken off for holding. Neither fighter looked like finding a finish in the penultimate round but Fury’s work was tidier and he was the busier of the two men.

Having promised a stoppage, both men picked up the pace in the last round with Paul scoring a knockdown despite the protests of Fury. The Englishman’s left eye was damaged and both men let their hands go in the closing seconds.

Rematch ready

The two looked visibly exhausted at the end and the scorecards could barely separate them but it was Fury who was given the nod by the judges. The scores were 76-73, 76-73, 74-75 in his favour.

Fury extends his record to 9-0 and afterwards he said,

“I am going to get bigger and better and if he wants a rematch bring it on!”

Paul dropped to 6-1 but also sounded rematch ready,

“I’ll come back. I think we deserve that rematch. It was a great fight. It was a close fight.”