Tommy Fury robs KSI’s undefeated record in boxing with a controversial unanimous decision

Robert Curran

KSI unleashes his “fury” after Tommy steals a Main Event Victory

The world of “Influencer boxing” has always been plagued by controversy. Critics have questioned whether this phenomenon is simply a way for adaptive social media stars to make a quick buck, while offering their audience little in return, in the way of competitive fights. 

Nevertheless, while some may struggle to find the appeal in this once niche market within combat sports, it cannot be denied that the millions who do find it entertaining have made influencer boxing a highly lucrative business. Supporters will argue that the value of these events comes not just in the fights themselves but in how these bouts are built up, almost in the same way as one would expect in “WWE”.  

With press conference shenanigans and abundant “feuds” being built upon petty squabbles, one must admit that there is a particular pleasure derived from watching these mostly amateur warriors attempt to worm their way into the heads of their opponents before a punch has even been thrown.

While your average influencer may lack in their combat skills, most have mastered the art of trash talk and have come to possess an almost laughable self-belief in their ability to box on such a grand stage. All this combines to make for a fine brew of easy viewing as fans crave for their favoured fighter to take their opponent down a peg or two from the pedestal they’ve placed themselves upon.

The ever-growing popularity of these events was clear to see on the 14th of October 2023 when the Boxing promotion “Misfits” (founded by KSI), in conjunction with streaming service “DAZN”, teamed up once more to host “X series 10”. An event that was to set a precedent by continuing to blur the ever-disappearing lines between the once-contrasting worlds of professional and influencer boxing.

With 20,000 souls huddled into a sold-out Manchester Arena and over 1.3 million pay-per-view buys coming from all corners of the globe, the statistics told the story. This was one of the most anticipated events in the short history of influencer boxing. 

The fight on the card with the most hype? KSI vs Tommy Fury. KSI, the man who many would hail as the “father of influencer boxing”, the one who set the wheels in motion for this breakaway from traditional boxing, was set to face his toughest opponent yet in the form of Love Island darling turned professional boxer “Tommy Fury”.

While both competitors came to the ring undefeated, most pundits presumed that KSI would not be leaving the same way. The task of defeating Fury was thought to be Herculean; Fury had been born with a fighting spirit coursing through his veins, a descendant of a long line of bare-knuckle fighters and brother of two-time heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. The Mancunian was the clear favourite, maybe not amongst the fans, but certainly with the bookies.

Fury picked up the win by unanimous decision in what was an undeniably slow main event, that showcased the competitors’ surprising affection for each other, with a chorus of hugs interrupting the rare moments of actual violence. This battle of David and Goliath was not as one-sided as previously expected.

Post-match figures showed that this was indeed a close bout, with Fury only landing one more punch than his opponent. While this would seem to suggest that the judges’ decisions were correct, it must be noted that Molly-Mae’s fiancé had faced a point deduction in the second round after repeatedly hitting KSI in the back of the head, a fact that would lead many, including KSI himself, to argue that the result was a “robbery”.

KSI protested the result post-fight, sarcastically expressing his frustration as he scolded his opponent, “I’m the YouTuber, you’re the boxer, I understand, you have to win.” KSI (real name Olajide Olatunji) has since formally submitted an appeal to the Professional Boxing Association over the loss that caused his once-undefeated record to be stripped from him.

The fury over the bout’s outcome was not a topic Tommy wished to discuss as he urged Olajide to “go back to YouTube”. Fury would then proceed to leave the ring as he gloated to a Manchester crowd that had little desire to congratulate their hometown fighter on his win.

While Fury may wish to move on, it remains to be seen whether the drama between these two has finished. With the results of KSI’s appeal pending, many feel a rematch is very likely in the future.

Whatever the future holds, this fight has proven a testament to the stubborn nature of influencer boxing. What the boxers may lack in talent, they make up for with some fine dramatic performances. I say, long may it continue, long may they entertain us, long live influencer boxing.

Robert Curran

Photos: Google