Jake Ball’s first fight against a real boxer didn’t go as planned.
Tommy Fury handed the YouTuber-turned-boxer the first loss of his career on Sunday night at the Dariya Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Despite being knocked out in the final round, Fury won Ball by split decision in an eight-round bout.
After the fight, he said he disagreed with the judges’ decision, had been taken ill twice in the camp and injured his hand – statements that drew cheers from the crowd.
“But I lost. I’m not making excuses,” Paul said. “I’m just saying it wasn’t my best performance. I fell to the ground.
Fury seemed to have a slight edge throughout most of the fight, but Paul was right in the mix and landed several excellent punches of his own. Both fighters were deducted a point in the later rounds for a jab to the back of each other’s head.
It was the eighth lap, however, when Paul pulled back and slowly made his move after seventh. Paul came out early with a left hand sweep that sent Fury briefly to the mat for a stumble – marking his first and only knockdown of the bout.
“That’s not a knockdown, that’s an ace,” Fury said. “It was actually a slip. I got up … I got back into it.
Fury didn’t seem too phased by the knockdown and came out firing to end the fight, throwing several punches of his own to maintain the advantage and secure the split-decision victory. Fury threw almost twice as many punches as Paul did in the fight, landing 88 compared to Paul’s just 49.
“These two and a half years, I had a dream, a vision that I was going to win this fight, and no one believed in me,” said an emotional Fury. The ring after his victory. “Now I can stand up and everyone can take notice. In my first major event, at 23, the world was on me. The pressure was on my shoulders and I came through.
Sunday’s fight was Paul’s biggest to date. Until his bout with Fury, Paul had only teamed up with MMA fighters, another YouTuber and a former NBA player. The 47-year-old’s last win came in October after he outpointed former MMA star Anderson Silva.
While Fury was as good a boxer as Paul faced in his career, he didn’t do much. Fury, the half-brother of heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, carries an 8-0 record with four knockouts into Sunday’s fight, which looks impressive on its face. However, his eight opponents combined for a combined record of 24-176-5 – which isn’t great.
One of the biggest criticisms of Paul was that he never fought a real boxer. While Fury was as close as he’d come, it still wasn’t great as both men tried to establish themselves in the lead-up to Sunday’s fight.
But in the end, it doesn’t matter. Against the best fighter he had ever seen in his life, Paul lost.
If Paul ever wants to play it again, Fury is ready.
“If he wants a rematch, he can have a rematch,” Fury said.