Who is Tommy Fury? The boxer storming the internet right now
A split decision secured Tommy Fury‘s victory over YouTuber Jake Paul last night, following a boxing match hailed as “the most anticipated contest between two novices in boxing history”.
Fury has now won all nine of his fights, with his latest success promising to really put him on the map in the world of boxing. It will also surely flip his multi-hyphenate status so that “boxer” comes before “former Love Island star”.
But, before we reach that reality, we have to ask: how did the former Love Island star come to end Paul’s string of six successive wins, become the hottest topic on the internet (again) — and manage it all fresh from the birth of his first daughter, Bambi, who he welcomed with long-term partner and Love Islander Molly-Mae Hague? Let’s look at the journey of the man nicknamed TNT due to his explosive punching power.
The early days of TNT
Fury was born on May 7, 1999 in Manchester, making him unsettlingly young at 23 years old. Fighting already ran through Fury’s family before his birth. His father John was a boxer, bare-knuckle fighter and cornerman and his half-brother took boxing lessons from his dad the year before Tommy’s birth. That half-brother is the two-time world champion and self-titled Gypsy King, Tyson Fury.
It didn’t take long for Fury to follow in Tyson’s footsteps, as he learned to box aged 12. He also went on an entertaining Facebook rampage at this time, posting daily status updates (including one where he referred to Spongebob as a “beast”) that would come to haunt him when he entered a well-known reality television show years later, but we’ll get to that…
Fury moved on from the teachings of his father and half-brother to take up boxing more seriously in his late teens. He had regular coaching from British boxing hero Ricky Hatton at his Manchester-based gym.
Fury made his professional debut at the Manchester Arena in 2018, aged just 19. He beat Latvia’s Jevgenijs Andrejevs on points in their light-heavyweight clash.
Fury was even more impressive in his second fight, knocking out Callum Ide in the first round. With his boxing career off to a flying start, things were looking good for Fury. He had other plans, however.
Love Island and finding true love
Fury was announced as part of dating reality show Love Island’s line-up in the summer of 2019. This made him the resident nepo baby (the year before, it was was Dani Dyer, the year after was The Saturdays alum Rochelle Humes’ younger sister Sophie Piper, and the list goes on).
Fury was an instant hit with both the girls in the villa and the general public, who delighted in watching his budding romance with bombshell Molly-Mae Hague and occasional run-ins with Irish troublemaker Maura Higgins.
Fury was loyal to Hague the entire time, though. This culminated in a memorable scene where he returned after the Casa Amor break holding her childhood toy Ellie Belly as a mark of his fidelity.
The pair came second in the final behind winners Amber Rose Gill and Greg O’Shea, a victory largely secured by Gill’s own popularity (she has since referred to herself as the first “solo winner” of Love Island). This didn’t knock Fury and Hague’s bond, though, and the pair consistently exceeded expectations outside of the villa. They stayed together, wasted no time in securing a flat and weathered all rumours about “cracks” in their relationship. The happy couple eventually revealed Hague’s pregnancy in September 2022.
Taking on the great irritator, Jake Paul
Tommy Fury vs Jake Paul | Sun 26th February 2023
YouTuber and professional wind-up merchant Paul set his sights on a boxing career in around 2018. He initially competed against other YouTubers in amateur contests, however. Paul won all of his fights and then beat former MMA fighters Tyron Woodley (twice) and Anderson Silva.
He was set to fight Fury on December 18, 2021. However, Fury had to pull out due a broken rib and chest infection, which Paul called “an embarrassment,” saying he didn’t see “any reason,” their fight should be rescheduled.
Paul might have been better off against a chest-infected Fury after all, given the latter’s split-decision victory (one judge scored the bout 75-74 to Paul, with the other two scoring it 76-73 to Fury).
Fury dedicated his win to his newborn daughter Bambi, who was born on January 23, and “my missus”.
"I love you and I can’t wait to see you,” he said on BT Sport. “This fight is for you, Bambi, I love you."