Tommy Fury couldn’t hold back his emotions in the aftermath of his split-decision victory over American Jake Paul on Sunday evening.
The 23-year-old Lancashire man broke down in the ring after he was announced winner following eight intriguing rounds in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.
Both judges Omar Mintun and Daniel Van de Wiele awarded the fight to Fury by scores of 76-73 while Mike Ross returned a peculiar 75-74 scorecard in Paul’s favour.
Fury started the fight well behind a stiff jab in the opening rounds before Paul looked to bring his own right-hand into play in the third.
Referee Hector Afu harshly deducted points from both fighters in the middle portion in the round.
Paul was first for rabbit punches in the fifth before Fury lost a point of his own for what Afu considered persistent holding in the following round.
Fury nevertheless looked to be boxing to a comfortable decision heading into the eighth and final round before a well-timed Paul jab floored him in the opening 20 seconds.
The Ohio man’s supporters broke into raptures ringside but Fury saw out the round convincingly to emerge from the highly-anticipated grudge match with his hand raised.
Fury told BT Sport post-fight: “Jake Paul is a true warrior. He’s a better man than I thought he was but at the end of the day this is the only thing that has consumed my life for the past two-and-a-half-years.
“If he wants a rematch, he can have a rematch. There was a lot of pressure coming along with this. I dealt with it, I’m 23-years-old, I’ve got the world at my feet.”
Paul confirmed he plans to activate his rematch clause post-fight.
Badou Jack also became a three-division world champion with a twelfth-round stoppage of Ilunga Makabu.
Jack secured the WBC cruiserweight title, flooring the Congo man in the fourth and eleventh rounds.
The American adds the belt to the titles he won at super-middleweight and light-heavyweight respectively.