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18th Mar 2023

Fans stunned by Tommy Fury’s new WBC cruiserweight ranking after Jake Paul win

Steve Hopkins

‘WBC define all that’s wrong with boxing in 2023’

Tommy Fury has been given a WBC cruiserweight ranking for the first time – and it has not gone down well with fight fans.

Tommy, the brother of heavyweight champion Tyson, beat the YouTuber-turned boxer in a split points decision at Diriyah Arena, in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia last month.

Despite knocking Tommy, 23, down in the eighth round, Jake, 26, left the arena with a blemished record. One judge scored the bout 75-74 to Jake, with the other two scoring it 76-73 to Tommy, who is now nine for nine fights.

As well as taking home the biggest purse of his career, said to be around £2.5 million, ‘TNT’ was awarded the one-off Diriyah championship belt after inflicting Jake’s first defeat.

Before the highly-anticipated fight, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said the winner would receive a top 40 ranking in the cruiserweight division, something he repeated after Tommy was victorious.

“Well, the new ranking will come next week and, yes, he will be ranked,” Sulaiman said.

“The WBC has 40 fighters ranked per each division. And what I said personally was that the winner would be ranked, and I didn’t mention any number at all, any position at all.

“So, the rankings committee will meet over the beginning of the month and make the assessment.”

While Tommy usually fights at light heavyweight, he has now been confirmed 39th in the cruiserweight division. He is one spot ahead of Viddal Riley, who also had an impressive amateur career, and has a 8-0 record.

While Tommy has indicated he might fight Jake again, his new ranking means his next opponents are likely to be much tougher.

Reactions to Tommy’s ranking, haven’t been favourable.

One fan joked that the holder of such a “prestigious” belt should be in the top 10. Another wrote that the fighter ranked after him will be “well annoyed”.

Another said: “Imagine being an unranked prospect just outside the Top 40 behind 2 men that have 0.0% chance of ever winning a world title. WBC define all that’s wrong with boxing in 2023.”

While another fan suggested the ranking may help quickly determine if Tommy is a real fighter after all: “Excellent so we can assume his next bout will be against someone in the top 40 then. Get this career actually moving and see if he’s got any ability whatsoever?”

Other commenters suggested Tommy versus Viddal would be a fight they’d like to see, though his ranking about Viddal was questioned: “Tommy Fury higher than Viddal Riley is nuts.”

Tommy’s dad, and trainer, John, has hinted at further fights with YouTubers – admitting interest in bouts against both KSI and Salt Papi.

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