The decision could not have been easier for Tommy Fury when offered the opportunity to face Jake Paul.
Both boxers appeared in separate bouts this past August, with the two sides immediately clashing and planting the seeds for a continued rivalry. Fury (7-0, 4KOs) outpointed Anthony Taylor (0-2) in an admittedly lackluster performance in the opening bout of the August 29 Showtime Pay-Per-View event that saw Paul edge former UFC welterweight Tyron Woodley via split decision.
For Paul, it marked the fourth straight win in as many pro bouts versus an opponent making their pro debut. The demand for the social media influencer to face an actual boxer led to securing the services of Fury, who never thought twice about participating on a circuit that has drawn the scorn of industry purists.
“Definitely not,” Fury said of any hesitation to take this fight, during a press conference in England to formally discuss the December 18 Showtime PPV main event from AMALIE Arena in Tampa. “You want me to pay me millions of dollars to go over there and fight someone that looks like him? You’re asking me if I want to do something like that. Why wouldn’t I want to do that? One-hundred percent, sign me up.
"This is a bum who cannot fight. I’m gonna show that on December 18.”
Fury is no stranger to fame beyond the ropes as well. The 22-year-old from Manchester, England achieved celebrity status through his stint on British reality TV show Love Island, where he and current love interest Molly-Mae Hague—also a content creator—finished as runner-up during the series’ fifth season in 2019. The stint came with a nine-month break from boxing after a 2-0 start before Fury returned to the ring in December 2019. Five wins have followed, including his U.S. debut in the aforementioned win over Taylor this past August.
It wasn’t clear at the time if a straightaway fight would take place between Paul and Fury or if the rivalry would spill over into 2022 before making its way to the ring. The relatively quick turnaround and circumstances under which it takes place could not be more pleasing to the unbeaten Brit.
“As soon as I heard about this fight, easy money,” insisted Fury. “Easy money."
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox