This was my destiny – Tommy Fury says win over Jake Paul felt like world title

Tommy Fury, centre, celebrates after defeating Jake Paul (AP) (AP)
Tommy Fury, centre, celebrates after defeating Jake Paul (AP) (AP)

Tommy Fury said his victory over Jake Paul felt like a world title after winning a split decision to settle their grudge match in Saudi Arabia.

The long-standing feud finally came to a conclusion at Diriyah Arena on Sunday evening, after two previous scheduled meetings had to be cancelled.

Fury, who remains determined to emulate brother Tyson by becoming a world champion, took a standing count for a knockdown in the final eighth round – with the British fighter claiming to have slipped – but had earlier done enough to earn victory on the judges’ cards.

As well as claiming the newly-made WBC Diriyah Belt with victory over YouTuber-turned-boxer Paul, Fury – who was defending an undefeated 8-0 professional record – will controversially earn a place in the WBC cruiserweight rankings.

Speaking ringside, broadcast on BT Sport Box Office, Fury dedicated the victory to girlfriend Molly-Mae Hague and new-born daughter Bambi.

“For the past two and a half years, this is all that’s consumed my life,” he said. “Tonight I made my own legacy. Molly, this fight was for you and for you, Bambi, I love you.

“I had a dream and a vision that I would win this fight and no one believed me. I had pressure on my shoulders and I came through. This to me is a world title fight – I’ve trained so hard for this. This was my destiny, we did it.”

It also proved a lucrative evening’s work for Fury after his father John accepted Cleveland-born Paul’s double-or-nothing offer at Thursday’s pre-fight press conference.

Fury praised Paul afterwards and said he would sign up for another bout, adding: “This was my first main event. I’m only going to go stronger and bigger. If Jake wants a rematch then bring it on. Jake Paul was a proper warrior. He took some good shots and he’s far better than I thought he was.”

Defeat ends Paul’s perfect 6-0 record, which included bouts against the likes of ex-NBA player Nate Robinson as well as MMA fighters Anderson Silva and Tyron Woodley.

The 26-year-old said: “I felt flat, I got sick twice in this camp and injured my arm. It wasn’t my best performance, but I’m not making excuses and I’ll come back stronger.

“All respect to Tommy – he won. I deserve a rematch, I don’t know if I agree with the judges. I’ve already won in life – I have an amazing family, amazing friends and I’ve made it further than I ever thought I would.”