Had everything gone according to plan, it would have been Tommy Fury standing across from Jake Paul at Amalie Arena this past Saturday.
Fury was forced to withdraw from the anticipated boxing match due to a rib injury and a chest infection, opening the door for a rematch between Paul and former UFC champion Tyron Woodley. Instead of Fury and Paul trading punches, fans in Tampa, Fla., were treated to Paul leveling Woodley with a one-punch knockout after five uneventful rounds.
Painful as it was to have to sit this one out, Fury was watching the fight closely and he was not impressed with what he saw.
“I think it’s a pretty bad place you’re in when the commentator’s whose commentating your fight says, ‘It’s getting pretty hard to watch now,’” Fury said in an interview posted by Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions. “And they’re joking between the commentators, ‘Who won that round? Well, nobody.’ That went on for well more than half the fight. I was just watching it and it was very upsetting for me to sit there and watch it. I’m not gonna beat around the bush because I know if I’d have been there it wouldn’t have gone six, seven rounds or whatever it was. It wouldn’t go there because for the first four or five rounds, the guy didn’t throw a punch. He didn’t throw anything. They were just wrestling each other.
“So for me to sit there and watch that and it was meant to be my night and that was meant to be my time, you get everybody talking sh*t back and forth, ‘he’s done this and done that,’ the people that know me know how much of a bitter pill that was. They know what I’ve been going through and that’s it. It was hard to watch because that should have been me in Tampa Bay, Florida. Thousands of people packed that arena, live all across the world, that should have been me and it will be me.”
Currently, Fury and his team are aiming to reschedule the fight for sometime in the first quarter of 2022, though the timetable is murky with Fury unsure when he can return to training.
Even with a new opponent, Paul took several shots at Fury during fight week including wearing a t-shirt that read “Tommy Fury This Could Have Been You.” However, following the fight, Paul was focused on calling out UFC fighters Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal. It’s a change of direction that Fury finds befuddling.
“I don’t get what he’s trying to achieve by calling out UFC people,” Fury said. “He wants to be a boxer doesn’t he? So fight a boxer.
“Calling out all these wrestlers and non-boxers, in a cage they’d kill him any day of the week but let’s be honest and let’s be serious here: would he beat Nate Diaz [in boxing]? One hundred percent. Would he beat any other MMA super fighter, 100 percent, because they’re not boxers. I’ve really got nothing else to say on that because I’m not entertaining that. He’s the fight I want next and he’s the fight that’s gonna happen next.”
Paul’s first fight with Woodley in August ended in a split nod for the YouTube star, but Fury thinks Paul actually looked better in that fight than the rematch that ended in a knockout. His primary criticism of Paul’s boxing is that he’s not active enough and that he doesn’t move his head.
As far as Paul’s promotional skills go, Fury isn’t impressed by the mind games and he’s not giving Paul any more credit than he believes he deserves.
“I think what’s really showing me a lot is Jake Paul comes across as this guy who holds all the cards,” Fury said. “He doesn’t hold any cards. I’m not some bum who’s f*cking—I don’t know, he thinks I’m in desperate need of money. That I’ve not got a life other than Jake Paul and if Jake Paul doesn’t fight me my life doesn’t go on. But without Jake Paul I live a nice, comfortable life and I can say that quite comfortably.
“I don’t need Jake Paul. I said the first time, ‘Let’s get in the ring. Let’s do it. Let’s have it for real.’ That’s still this here. I want Jake Paul in the ring because I want to stop all this and that’s the reason he keeps making it, ‘I’m gonna fight, I’m not gonna fight.’ When I pulled out of this fight, Jake Paul couldn’t believe his luck. I bet he had his little celebration party and I’m being deadly serious because when I pulled out of this fight that was Christmas come early for him. … It’s just upsetting because this all could have have been over and done with now. Jake Paul could have been over and done with because believe you me, if that was me in there on Saturday it would have been.”
Fury might not be holding his breath for a call from Paul’s team, but he’s adamant that re-booking their fight is the next logical move for Paul if he wants to claim that he’s a legitimate boxer.
“My message to Mr. Paul is what’s happened is very unfortunate,” Fury said. “I understand he’s gonna be angry. He’s gone through training camps, expenses, but I’m angry also and we’ve got a lot of unfinished business. I think we need to get this year out the way, call this a write-off, you enjoy time off and I think we’ll meet up in 2022. We’ll get this fight done and get this unfinished business out of the way. Everybody wants to see this fight.
“You want to proclaim yourself as a boxer. Stop calling out the UFC people. Come and fight me like you were going to. Yeah, what happened was unfair. My fault, my bad, hold my hands up, what can I do? Ungodly things happen. But next year, let’s get it done bright and early, let’s get back in training and let’s give this whole world the fight that they want to see. Let’s see if you’re the real boxer or not. You’re getting all this and you’re getting all that that you’ve never fought a boxer before and you still haven’t. Let’s get this fight on, let’s get this fight done, I’ll be ready to go in March. So I’ll see you then.”