Inside story of Tommy Fury’s "desperate" battle to be fit for Jake Paul fight

Tommy Fury was "desperate" to save his fight with Jake Paul, even after learning he had broken three ribs in a sparring session.

The pair were due to fight in Florida next weekend after a year of back-and-forth across social media that culminated in a series of outlandish press conferences.

But it now remains to be seen if they will reschedule, with YouTube star Paul instead opting to fight Tyron Woodley in a rematch of their August bout.

Fury's involvement in the fight has been questionable from the beginning, with the pair struggling to come to terms on a contract despite a million-dollar offer from Paul to the Love Island star.

The 7-0 boxer turned down Paul's initial offer, given that the fight would likely be earning multiple millions, and said it wasn't worth "getting out of bed for".

"Those offers weren't even worth addressing," Fury said in an Instagram video during fight negotiations.

"Now he has come out and said that he wants to give me a $1million to fight him and i just want to say this.

"To everybody out there, $1m for a fight of this magnitude is not even worth getting out of bed for, this fight is going to gross millions and millions of pounds."

However, the deal ended up being done a few weeks later, after a clause was floated that would see Fury earn an extra $500,000 if he beat Paul, but changing his name to "Tommy Fumbles" should he lose.

Fury's dad John insisted the clause never made it into the final fight contract, but Paul's team claimed the bet would be a hand shake deal, to be made official at their launch press conference in Las Vegas on November 6.

However, just days after arriving in America to start camp with his brother Tyson's trainer SugarHill Stewart, Fury headed home due to an emergency with his mother Chantal.

The fighter missed his two launch press conferences on November 6 and 8 in Vegas and Tampa, leaving Paul and Stewart to handle the media for the bout.

Upon arriving home, Fury immediately entered camp with his father John and brother Tyson with the world heavyweight champion taking over as head trainer.

He was joined by former world champion Andy Lee for a brief period in Morecambe, while Paul trained with his regular team in Puerto Rico.

The build-up become even more outrageous with a UK media event which saw Fury, along with his brother and father, go back-and-forth over Zoom, with the American still at his training base.

BT Sport, the fight's broadcasters in the UK & Ireland, were forced to apologise for comments made by John Fury towards Paul's girlfriend Julia Rose, but that was to prove the tip of the ice berg for the doomed fight.

Just days later, Tommy came down with a chest infection, which saw him miss a number of days of training, according to his doctor Usman Sajjad.

"What had happened was he had a chest infection the week before," Sajjad explained in an Instagram video days after the cancellation.

"He was on appropriate treatment for that, antibiotics and what not.

"But he was coughing and it was made worse, but then he improved, I assessed him two Thursdays ago and we had a strength and conditioning session where he was fine."

After it appeared that Fury was recovering, the doctor allowed him to return to sparring.

It was during that session that he received a shot to the body that would see him break three ribs, and ultimately be pulled from the fight.

"There was no tenderness around the sixth or seventh rib region and then he had a sparring session the next Monday," he continued.

"It was a tough sparring session, so I was asked by his dad to go up and assess him.

"So I get there and there is a bit of swelling and tenderness in that region but I didn't suspect there was a fracture at all, even though he was in a lot of pain.

"So I thought it was best for him to rest from training, but he then reports that symptoms are worsening over a couple of days, he's vomiting, in more pain.

"We managed to get him a private MRI scan on the Thursday, he had that done on December 2 and it shows multiple fractures, cartilage damage as well, in the sixth, seventh and ninth ribs."

But Fury wouldn't take the news without a fight, demanding that his doctor set him up with pain killer injections to save the bout.

He was rebuked by Sajjad, who couldn't allow him to compete with the risk of a serious injury such as a punctured lung.

"Naturally, he was gutted," Dr Sajjad continued. "I take 100 per cent responsibility for pulling him out and I'm sure his dad does as well.

"We made the decision as a team – I gave my medical report, the scan findings and his dad pulled him out.

"Tommy was desperately wanting to fight, he said 'give me an injection a week, we're going to do whatever it takes', but I had to say no – this could be a life threatening thing.

"Tommy was desperate on fighting, and you need to realise these fighters are not robots, they're human beings and going into the ring with a broken rib, I'd rather go into the ring with a broken hand."

Fury was devastated by the fight falling through, and has insisted that he will reschedule the bout once he is healthy.

The diagnosis means he will be unable to train until the end of February at the earliest, meaning a quick turnaround is unlikely.

Paul has also fought four times in the last thirteen months, all of which were main or co-main event slots on big pay-per-view events, and will likely want to take considerable time off after facing Woodley.

In a video posted on social media, Fury said: "Training camp couldn't have gone any better for me for the first week or two but then I contracted a bacterial chest infection which led me to go to the gym and not being able to breathe.

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"My sparring sessions, pad work sessions , whatever it may be I wasn't able to breathe and I was coughing up huge amounts of phlegm all the time.

"It led me to sleepless nights and that went on for four weeks. I had the mind-set of, 'I"m going to train, I'm going to get through this, I'm going to fight no matter what'.

"Four weeks past and we decided to have a sparing session and I took a little clip to the body and because my body was so weak due to the virus, I instantly knew something wasn't right.

"I was throwing up from the pain , I was doubled over. I literally got my bag and went straight to the hospital for an MRI scan and got the results back the same day.

"The results showed I had a clean break and I had multiple fractures. For the following week I still thought I could fight but then it took the doctor and my whole team to say you cant fight.

"Even now it hasn't sunk in that I'm not fighting. My only focus is getting a new fight date set and recovering."

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