Jake Paul targeting Tommy Fury rematch after claiming rival 'wasn't that great at all'

YouTube-star-cum-boxer suffered first defeat since taking up sport in split-decision loss in Saudi Arabia

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Jake Paul says preparations badly affected his defeat to Tommy Fury and, while he respects his opponent, claims the Englishman “wasn’t that great at all” as he targets a rematch.

On Sunday, the YouTube-star-turned boxer suffered his first loss since turning to professional boxer, beaten via split decision by Fury in Saudi Arabia.

Fury, the half-brother of WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, controlled the bout for the majority with his jab and landed almost double the punches as Paul. The defeat moved the latter's record to 6-1, while his long-time rival climbed to 9-0 as a pro.

Paul, who last October knocked out former UFC champion Anderson Silva, had spent much of his training camp in Dubai.

Speaking on his podcast released on Wednesday, Paul said of the causes for the defeat: “Lots of reasons. I was sick for four weeks out of this nine-week camp and the travelling, jet-lagged for another week of that.

“That's what's [annoying] me the most: it had nothing to do with him; it had everything to do with me. He wasn't that great at all. I think Anderson was tougher than him and I figured out that puzzle. He threw a lot of punches, that was his biggest thing.”

Fury, 23, took the contest at Diriyah Arena 74-75, 76-73, 76-73. Directly after the fight, Paul had said he was sick “really bad” twice during camp, and had also injured his arm in the lead-up to the bout.

Paul did manage to knock down Fury in the final round on Sunday, even if it did not appear to faze his opponent. Fury, who was handed a special “Diriyah Champion” belt in the ring, was visibly emotional after the win.

“I have respect for the kid,” Paul said on his podcast. “I think that’s the most beautiful thing about this sport. You can be arch enemies and then find respect for each after beating the [expletive] out of each other and going to war. It’s definitely really cool.

“I’m happy for him for sure. Just seeing him cry because I’ve been there, going through all the adversity and then the win meaning everything.”

Paul added: “I guess the silver lining is that the pay-per-views are off the charts. Probably going to be the biggest fight of the year. It’s going to be hard to contend with. Maybe [Ryan] Garcia and [Gervonta] Davis.

“It’s probably coming at over half a million buys. Still totalling everything. So the business is great.”

As for what is next, Paul had previously teased a fight with former UFC star Nate Diaz or fellow social-media personality KSI.

“Obviously, there’s still so many names out there for me to fight,” Paul said. “I want to do the rematch with Tommy, but I think all of those fights are still there and still massive.

“I think the rematch [is next]. I’ve got to go get that back. Run it back.”

Updated: March 02, 2023, 10:55 AM