Let’s try it again. After several attempts at a fight between social media star-turned-boxer Jake Paul and Tommy Fury, reality star, boxer and brother of heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, both are back on the boxing calendar. The pair are set to meet on February 26 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Paul’s most valuable promotion announced on Friday. The bout will air live on ESPN+ PPV.
The fight has been talked about for 2021, with Fury defeating Anthony Taylor on the undercard of Paul’s first matchup with Tyron Woodley, a situation that was intended to set up Fury vs. Paul. That fight was set for December 18 that same year, only for Fury to pull out in early December, leading to a rematch between Paul and Woodley.
Another attempt to do battle was made with a target date of August 6, 2022. However, Fury’s visa was denied as he prepared to travel to the United States for a press conference in June to formally announce the fight. The situation appears to be the result of the Fury family’s involvement with Daniel Kinahan, an alleged crime boss who is the target of a coordinated effort between Irish, British and American law enforcement. Paul was then set to fight replacement opponent Hasim Rahman Jr., only to see that fight also break up when Rahman made it clear he would be unable to make the contracted weight.
Paul began fighting his most dangerous opponent in October, taking on former UFC champion and semi-veteran pro boxer Anderson Silva. Paul won the fight by decision, knocking out Silva late in the fight to secure his victory. That win moved Paul to 6–0 in his boxing campaign with four knockout wins, although their level of competition was heavily criticized, with only Silva having actual professional boxing experience prior to meeting Paul.
Fury is 8-0 as a professional, although his competition level is also questioned, 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 winning pro bouts. In his most recent bout, Fury defeated Daniel Bosianski, 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 increase their level of competition as the year progresses, although Paul recently announced that He has signed a multi-fight deal to compete for MMA. Promotion will also require devoting time to training for the PFL and promotion is expected to begin in 2024.