If you have aspirations of becoming a boxing world champion, taking on unranked YouTubers and social media personalities perhaps isn’t the best way of catching the eye of the sport’s governing bodies.
But Tommy Fury, who will take on KSI just months after defeating another ‘crossover’ pugilist in Jake Paul, is planning to not let his current exhibition status get in the way of more serious battles further down the line.
Stepping Up in Class
The British Boxing Board of Control has refused to sanction the Misfits card that Fury will feature on, with the Professional Boxing Association (PBA) instead stepping into the breach.
So should the fight go as the KSI vs Tommy Fury odds suggest it might, with the 2/7 favourite Fury defeating KSI (11/4) via knockout, which is a boxing bet available at a price of 5/4, then the half-brother of Tyson will receive nothing in the way of ranking points or recognition.
What he will enjoy is a handsome payday, with former nemesis Paul claiming that Fury will earn in the region of €1.4 million for his efforts. That will come from his fight purse but also a slice of PPV sales, which for similar influencer boxing style cards have amounted to around one million buys or more.
Fury, who has a handful of professional bouts to his name, is expected to be too strong for KSI, a skilled enough boxer but one who is yet to be challenged by anyone other than a fellow YouTube amateur.
Fury, whose nickname is TNT, will also enjoy a natural size advantage over his opponent. He has taken to social media to show off a physique that a bodybuilder would be proud of, although there are some concerns as to whether he would make a catch weight of 183lbs as stipulated in the fight contract – even if a no rehydration clause means that Fury can weigh in heavier for the bout.
Tommy Fury posting his nine-week body transformation ahead of the KSI fight on Saturday night… pic.twitter.com/DPQsDsbetw— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) October 11, 2023
He tipped the scales at 184.5lb when he defeated Paul in Saudi Arabia back in February, while KSI’s last outing against Joe Fournier saw him measure 177lbs – how he fares athletically on fight night if he opts to go closer to 183lbs remains to be seen.
If Fury is to be taken seriously at his word that he considers himself to be a world title contender, he would presumably have to scale down to 175lb at light heavyweight rather than face much bigger men at the cruiserweight level.
It’s a move that could pay dividends anyway, with some interesting movements in the light heavyweight division at present. Joshua Buatsi, Dan Azeez, and Callum Smith are leading the way on the UK scene, while an eclectic band of overseas campaigners that includes the likes of Artur Beterbiev, Andre Dirrell, and Dmitry Bivol are also eye-catching opponents.
Of course, Fury is a million miles away from that level right now, but his appeal – the AO Arena in Manchester is sold out for his scrap with KSI, his age and his famous fighting lineage could yet play a part in him advancing through the professional ranks.
But that would all count for nothing if he can’t find a way past a YouTube influencer on Saturday.