Tommy Fury’s late notice withdrawal from a planned PPV boxing bout against Jake Paul has become one of the major stories in combat sports as 2021 comes to a close. In part that’s because the scrapped fight cleared the way for a rematch between Paul and former UFC champion Tyron Woodley—after Woodley lost their first fight via split decision in August. But also because of the confusion over just why it was Fury was pulling out of the fight.
“I’m a scary guy to fight - the [trash talk], the pressure. All of this? He cracked and tried to find a way out,” Paul told Sky Sports of the news that that he would no longer be fighting Fury on Showtime PPV later this month.
For his part, the Fury camp has explained that their fighter’s removal from the booking was the result of both an illness and an injury. And in an attempt to clear the air Fury’s father spoke to the Mirror to give a timeline for exactly what went down during his son’s training.
“He’s had a bacterial chest infection for about six or seven weeks, but that didn’t bother us, we were going to battle through that. But, owing to a complete idiot in the gym, punched him in the ribs. A man of 16 or 17 stone with his bare knuckle, punched him in the ribs and broke his ribs.
“At the end of the day, I was horrified, we were going to try and battle through it, because when we got him x-rayed they said, ‘No, it’s just bruised, it’s ligament damage’. And then, he was sparring and he couldn’t throw a punch, he couldn’t move. He said, ‘Look, I’m in bad pain dad’. He said to Tyson, ‘I’m in bad pain, I can’t move’.
“So, I took him to a specialist in Manchester, they x-rayed him properly and the finding was there. Broke ribs, what can you do? Chest infection, broke ribs, it’s unfortunate, it’s cost a lot of money, people have lost a lot of money, the disappointment is immense for Tommy and us. But, we’ll bounce back, we’re fighters, if you want to reschedule, that’s not a problem.”
If a re-booking is Team Fury’s hope, however, it currently doesn’t sound like a plan that’s on Paul’s radar. In the same aforementioned Sky Sports interview, Paul sounded disappointed with the level of promotion work that Fury had done in recent weeks, “I don’t see any reason to come back next year and give him a payday,” Paul revealed. “It would be more fun to leave him in the dust.”
Despite the short notice, Paul vs. Woodley 2 is still set to take place on December 18th at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL. The card is also set to feature a women’s lightweight fight between multi-division champ Amanda Serrano and Miriam Gutierrez.