Tommy ‘TNT' Fury carries a famous fighting family name. The 23-year-old Manchester, England, resident is the son of John Fury. His half-brother is WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, and many of his cousins are involved in boxing. Therefore, it is no surprise that the youngest of the Fury clan also turned to boxing to make a living.
What will perhaps be surprising to some is that Tommy, who carries the moniker TNT with him to the ring, only had 12 amateur contests. Citing a lack of opponents willing to face him, Fury entered professional boxing with his father training him. The plan was to learn on the job and climb the rankings within the light-heavyweight division. Since his debut in December 2018, Fury has compiled a record of 8-0. Four of his wins have come inside the distance. The combined records of the men he has beaten is 24-176 – perhaps to be expected for a novice pro learning his trade as he goes along.
Now, Fury has a high-profile opponent on his horizon. Cleveland, Ohio-born YouTube star turned boxer Jake Paul (6-0, 4KOs) will be in the opposite corner on February 26 at the Diriyah Arena, Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. The two men, who have built quite the rivalry on social media over the past 18 months, will square off in an eight-round contest.
Is it proper professional boxing? Is it worth the hype it is receiving? Should it be a pay-per-view attraction in both the UK and America? Everyone has their own thoughts on this. Regardless, it is happening under these circumstances, and both men will be well rewarded financially for taking part.
As the event approaches, let's take a closer look at Tommy Fury, both in and away from boxing.
Boxing Mixes With A Major Reality TV Appearance
In March 2019, Tommy Fury dismissed the challenge of Callum Ide via first-round TKO to move to 2-0. Would the young boxer continue building momentum with another bout in the following weeks? The answer to that was no. The answer made many boxing fans question how serious he was taking his fledgling professional campaign.
Instead of moving on to the next easily beatable opponent, Fury took an early career time-out. He signed up for the reality dating show Love Island. His commitment to the dating-based game show set in an exotic location kept Fury out of boxing for nine months.
While it's not my thing, I am informed that Love Island has a huge audience among the 16-to-34-year-old demographic, and it delivers very high ratings for ITV2, the network which airs the show. As a result, Tommy Fury is more often featured in the celebrity gossip pages of UK newspapers instead of the sports ones. It could be argued that Fury made a wise career decision as he now has some cross-over appeal. Maybe some of the reality TV viewers tune in when Fury boxes.
Fury's stint on Love Island saw him couple up with Molly-Mae Hague. The pair are still together, and last month, Fury became a father when the couple's daughter was born. Hague is described as a “social media influencer” and is regularly photographed and written about by gossip columns and celebrity magazines. All of this keeps Fury's name and image circulating in that sphere.
A Closer Look At Some Boxing
With the hiatus over, Fury resumed his boxing career with a first-round TKO win over Przemyslaw Binienda in December 2019. He has only gloved up five times since then. Any effort to build momentum was halted in early 2020 by the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns. Due to this, there weren't any boxing cards in the UK for several months. ‘TNT’ wasn't able to box again until November – another early stoppage win over then 0-11 foe Genadij Krajevskij of Lithuania.
Fury boxed three times in 2021, and during this year, rumours of a fight against Jake Paul started to circulate. Fury was improving fight by fight, and February, June, and August bouts indicated that he was fully dialed into his boxing career. Fury's 2021 was supposed to conclude with a December fight against Jake Paul, but with the fight scheduled, Fury withdrew with a rib injury.
An April 2022 points win over Daniel Bocianski at Wembley Stadium on the undercard of his half-brother's fight against Dillian Whyte was how Fury eased himself back into the sport after the injury. Again, Fury and Paul entered negotiations, and August 6 was the date agreed upon for a fight between the two in America.
Fury was then prevented from traveling to the United States. There was some problem with his travel documents which, at the time, the English boxer claimed not to understand. Boxing fans did wonder if Fury really had the desire to face Paul, despite seemingly holding all the aces in a boxing sense. Paul himself joined the pile-on, christening Fury “Tommy Fumbles.”
Many jibes have been passed back and forth between the two since then, but business has been concluded, and the pair are set to settle things in the ring next Sunday. Fury has not fought since the Bocianski bout, so he will have ten months of rust to shed in the early stages against Paul. For the record Paul last boxed in October 2022.
Tommy Fury's Boxing Style And Concluding Thoughts
Tommy Fury has so far shown us a mixture of things in the boxing ring. Muscular and sturdy, he looks more weight-lifter than a boxer on initial viewing. Fury has a reasonable jab which has helped him get on the front foot against the opponents he has faced so far. He is also a competent counter-puncher. He possesses adequate footwork when moving around the ring but doesn't set his feet well when throwing punches. His punch delivery looks rushed most of the time. Punches are thrown from fairly wide angles and don't carry as much pop as they would if his lower and upper body were working in sync. He also misses with plenty of the shots he throws. We still don't know how good his engine and chin are.
"I know I'm gonna knock him out. This fight will not go any more than four rounds."@tommytntfury gives his prediction for his fight against @jakepaul – and comments on the speculation Jake broke the news of Molly Mae having their baby on social media before them.@piersmorgan pic.twitter.com/KlVTKyF22T
— Piers Morgan Uncensored (@PiersUncensored) February 1, 2023
This is not to be overly critical. Fury is developing, and he did show improvements in the Bocianski fight. There is time for him to improve further, but at this stage, his boxing ability looks to be on par with Jake Paul's. It might be a fairly even contest between the two.
Fury has had success with body shots against the very limited opponents he faced as he kicked off his professional journey. His counterpunches carry the most power. It looks like when he spots an opportunity to counter, he delivers a far harder shot as his feet are well-placed, and the punch is well-timed and not rushed in the way much of his attacking output is.
Boxing-wise, we can analyze Fury based on what we have seen. To answer the question of who he is is far more difficult. Is he a serious boxer or a young man who dabbles in the sport but prefers being a celebrity?
Perhaps the recent birth of his daughter will steer him towards one thing or the other. It is ironic that Fury's biggest boxing test so far will come against an opponent who also brings a large number of eyeballs to boxing from his non-boxing-related past.
We will learn much more about Tommy Fury, the boxer, as the eight rounds against Jake Paul unfold. The pride he carries through his family name will surely see him bite down hard and look to vanquish Paul, a man he has branded as “useless” and someone who “can't fight” before the final bell.
Fury is also under pressure as he will be the first active boxer Paul has faced. Losing shouldn't be an option for the Englishman in a fight he has seemed to avoid in the past; it is a possibility, though. I believe there will be difficult moments for Fury in the Saudi ring on February 26. These moments will tell us plenty about his appetite for boxing. We are about to learn more about who Tommy Fury is. I suspect he is too.