It turns out Tommy Fury didn’t have a “private and personal matter” that prevented him from appearing at a press conference with Jake Paul on Wednesday — he just had better things to do.
The 23-year-old boxer was criticized by Paul, who called him “unprofessional” and a “flake” for failing to fly to Saudi Arabia for a pre-fight press conference ahead of their fight scheduled on Feb. 26. Speaking to MMA Fighting on Thursday, Fury scoffed at Paul’s insults while revealing the real reason behind his absence.
“I can clear that up in two seconds,” Fury said. “Basically, Jake Paul signed up into the world of professional boxing and I am a professional athlete, a professional boxer. I always have been and [ask] any professional boxer and they’ll tell you this — no one breaks camp, mid to the end [of training camp] to fly all the way to Saudi Arabia, have a 10 minute press conference, fly all the way back to Manchester, complete my camp then fly all the way back to Saudi Arabia again the following week.
“Now why the press conference couldn’t wait until a week later on fight week is beyond me. Most big fights, they schedule press conferences on fight week. I don’t know what is going on there.”
It was curious timing for a pre-fight press conference with the bout just over two weeks away but Paul didn’t skip a beat when he got the chance to take shots at Fury for not making an appearance.
For his part, Fury isn’t concerned about what Paul has to say about him but if it’s a question about who’s being professional, he’s quick to remind the social influencer turned boxer that his time would be better spent in the gym than with a microphone on the stage.
“I don’t know if he’s trying to play mind games or anything but that’s definitely not how it works,” Fury said. “One man’s flying all over the globe, trying to get in the glitz and glamour, press conferences, whatever else, and one man’s in the gym training to annihilate this man. So I think the proof is in the pudding. You can see who the professional athlete is.
“I’m not interested in press conferences. I’m interested in completing my camp, which has been the best camp of my career and I’m ready to KO this man and get him out of the sport.”
If there was any personal matter that could have potentially derailed Fury’s camp, it would have been the birth of his daughter in late January with girlfriend Molly-Mae Hague.
While that would have been a completely understandable distraction or perhaps even a reason to delay the fight, Fury says that option never even entered his mind.
“Listen at the end of the day, I’m blessed to have a Mrs. like I’ve got,” Fury said. “She’s unbelievable. She’s the best thing in the world and she’s my support system. She’s absolutely everything. I’m in a position where she’s took to motherhood absolutely amazing. She’s the best mother I’ve ever seen in my life. She’s doing anything and everything and I’ve just got the time to focus on my training.
“At the end of the day, sacrifices have been made. Big ones for this fight. I don’t need to say anything more than that. Big, big sacrifices. At the end of the day, that’s what this is about. You have to make those sacrifices and they’ve been made this camp.”
After spending the better part of the past two plus years engaged in a war of words with Paul through public appearances, interviews and social media, Fury is just ready to finish this rivalry and move on with his boxing career.
Two previous attempts to book the fight fell apart but Fury promises he’ll be front and center in the middle of the ring come Feb. 26 to settle the score with Paul once and for all.
“Things have got in the way the previous two times,” Fury said. “Things well out of my control. A broke rib and everything else that was wrong with the first fight. The second fight, denied entry into the U.S. Third fight, here we are. Three times is a charm and we’re seeing that.
“We’re two weeks out. I’m ripped, I’m ready, I’m fit, I’m strong and I’ve got more in the tank than what it takes to beat Jake Paul. Don’t worry about that.”