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Mild Upsets in Saudi Arabia as Tommy Fury and Badou Jack Take Home the Money

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  • Mild Upsets in Saudi Arabia as Tommy Fury and Badou Jack Take Home the Money

    After two postponements and more than nearly two full years of trash talk, Jake Paul and Tommy Fury finally locked horns today. The venue was Dariyah Arena in Saudi Arabia. It was an 8-rounder contested at the catch-weight of 185 pounds.

    As the PR flacks continually reminded us, Paul would finally be tested by a genuine professional boxer. Tommy Fury, the half-brother of heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, brought an 8-0 record built largely on the carcasses of cadavers.

    At the most recent press conference, Tommy Fury said, “To even mention my name in the same sentence [with Jake Paul] is disrespectful to me.” Tommy promised to KO Jake inside four rounds and reiterated that his goal was to become a world champion.

    It's far-fetched to think that Fury can win a legitimate world title strap, but tonight he proved to be a far better boxer than Jake Paul who lost for the first time in his seventh pro engagement. However, it didn't come easy in what was a messy fight marred by excessive clinching. Both fighters had points deducted for rule infractions, Paul for hitting behind the head and Fury for holding.

    Messy or not, it was a competitive match that went to the scorecards and there was some tension preceding the announcement of the result after Paul scored a flash knockdown in the final round. But two of the judges were unimpressed, giving Fury the win by margins of 76-73. The dissenter favored Jake Paul 75-74 but the outcome was not controversial.


    Badou Jack put an exclamation mark on his late career surge with a 12th-round stoppage of defending WBC cruiserweight champion Ilunga Makabu. In the process, the globetrotting Jack, whose primary residence is now in Dubai, achieved his goal of becoming the first Muslim to win a world boxing title on Saudi Arabian spoil and won a world title in a third weight class.

    Jack put Makabu on the canvas twice. The first knockdown, in round four, was the result of a right hand. Makabu was off-balance and wasn’t seriously hurt. The second knockdown in round 11, also the result of a right hand, was more severe. In the final round, a flurry of unanswered punches from Jack led the referee to call it off. The official time was 0:54.

    The presumption was that Makabu, at age 35 the younger man by four years, was more likely to wilt if the bout wended into the late rounds, but the opposite proved to be true. Jack was comfortably ahead of Makabu (29-3-3) heading into the final stanza.

    Badou Jack improved to 28-3-3.with his 17th win inside the distance. A devoted family man known for his level-headedness, he just may call it quits after putting the cherry on a potentially Hall of Fame career in which he overcame a great deal of adversity.


    In case you missed it, Floyd Mayweather Jr, who turned 46 last week, was in action last night in London. Mayweather opposed Newcastle's Aaron Chalmers, a 35-year-old TV personality who had a brief run as an MMA fighter with Bellator.

    The exhibition, originally slated for six rounds and bumped up to eight, went the full distance. Floyd had all the best of it but may have left the ring with a broken left hand.

    It was Mayweather’s first fight in the UK, but yet hardly anyone showed up. Despite deeply discounted tickets, London’s O2 Arena, a 20,000-seat facility, was almost empty. The few people that paid to see it, got no bang for their buck. It was nothing but a glorified sparring exhibition and a lackluster one at that.

    Perhaps fans of combat sports may have finally tired of the gimmick. Hooray for that.