The reasons for Jake Paul vs Tommy Fury not happening in the UK or US

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The time for talking is almost over as two of boxing’s brightest young stars Tommy Fury and Jake Paul prepare to finally settle their differences in the ring. 

Both fighters have been put through their paces as they prepare to do battle and put their undefeated records on the line. The Diriyah Arena in Saudi Arabia will host the grudge match, after two previously-arranged bouts were cancelled.

So why was the Middle Eastern country chosen to host what is set to be an explosive bout between two of the sport’s most recognisable stars? Paul, 26, who was last in the country for WWE’s Premium Live Event Crown Jewel event last November, explained: “When I came here for the WWE, the fan base was electric, man, and they showed out. And for me, I’m an entertainer.

“So, we had to do this fight overseas, and it was really like a decision between Manchester or Saudi. And it just made way more sense to do it in Saudi.” Saudi Arabia’s presence in the world of sport is rapidly growing, with their presence being felt in boxing, F1, golf and the aforementioned WWE.

In December 2019, Anthony Joshua regained his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles from Andy Ruiz Jr at the same venue hosting Fury and Paul’s bout. The Saudi Arabia GP will also take place for the third time this season, while the country plays a significant role in the funding of the controversial LIV Golf circuit.

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Another factor to take into consideration is the lucrative deals Saudi Arabia can offer and Fox Sports reported Fury is expected to pocket roughly $4.5 million (£3.7 million). Paul on the other hand, is set to earn close to $9 million (£7.5 million).

Both parties have since agreed on a winner-takes-all bout, with the loser going home empty handed. Fury was forced to withdraw from the two previously-arranged bouts with Paul having broken his rib in December 2021, before pulling the plug on their scheduled showdown last August after being unable to fly to the US. 

After being denied entry into the States, Fury released a statement on social media that read: “I’m gutted and disappointed in regard to the issues I have faced with entry into the USA. This is something that myself or my team could never anticipate happening.

“This situation has been left with my lawyers as being denied entry to a country is obviously a very serious issue and it needs to subsequently be resolved. I am confident this fight will happen when this issue gets resolved and we come to a solution. I want to clarify that I will fight in a neutral country that both parties can enter. This can be any time, any place, anywhere.”

Due to the cancelled bouts, some fans grew concerned over whether Fury would be present for Sunday’s showdown. But last week the 2019 Love Island star attempted to put those fears to bed, guaranteeing he will participate in the biggest fight of his career so far.

“I will be there bright and early in Saudi Arabia, ready for this. There’s no worries of me not showing up to this fight,” Fury told Mirror Fighting. “The two previous fights that didn’t go ahead were completely out of my hands, they had nothing to do with me whatsoever. What happened is what happened, but I am fit, I am conditioned, I’m here, I’m ready, don’t worry about that.”

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