Let’s try this again. After multiple attempts to put together a fight between social media star-turned-boxer Jake Paul and Tommy Fury, reality star, boxer and brother of heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, the two are back on the boxing calendar. The pair are set to meet on Feb. 26 from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Paul’s Most Valuable Promotions announced on Friday. The bout will air live on ESPN+ PPV.
Talk of the fight dates back to 2021, with Fury defeating Anthony Taylor on the undercard of Paul’s first matchup with Tyron Woodley, a situation that aimed to set up Fury vs. Paul. That fight was set for Dec. 18 of that year only for Fury to pull out at the start of December, leading to a rematch between Paul and Woodley.
Another attempt to make the fight was made with an Aug. 6, 2022 target date. However, Fury’s visa was denied as he was set to travel to the United States for a press conference in June to formally announce the fight. That situation appeared to be a result of the Fury family’s involvement with Daniel Kinahan, an alleged crime boss who is the target of coordinated efforts between Irish, British, and American law enforcement. Paul was then set to fight replacement opponent Hasim Rahman Jr., only to see that fight also fall apart when Rahman made it clear he would be unable to make the contracted weight.
Paul went on to fight in October, taking on his most dangerous opponent to date, former UFC champion and semi-experienced pro boxer Anderson Silva. Paul won the fight by decision, scoring a knockdown of Silva late in the fight to secure his victory. That win ran Paul to 6-0 in his boxing campaign with four knockout wins, though much criticism has been given to his level of competition, with only Silva having actual pro boxing experience prior to meeting Paul.
Fury is 8-0 as a professional, though his level of competition is questioned as well, albeit for different reasons. In his first seven bouts, Fury’s opponents had a combined record of 14-175-5, with only three of those opponents having won a pro bout. In his most recent outing, Fury beat Daniel Bocianski, who entered the fight with a 10-1 record.
A win for either man would likely be the most impressive win on their resume and could set them up to continue increasing their level of competition as the year goes on, though Paul recently announced that he had signed a multi-fight deal to compete for MMA promotion PFL and will also need to dedicate time to training for what is expected to be a 2024 debut for the promotion.