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

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.”

Tommy Fury, left, aims a punch at Jake Paul
Tommy Fury, left, aims a punch at Jake Paul (AP)

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.”