Liam Payne, former One Direction singer, is inexplicably fighting Tommy Fury, half-brother of the world heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury, in his debut as a boxer. Sorry, what?
The news was announced on April 12 out of nowhere, as Payne and Fury simultaneously announced the bout on their respective social media pages.
Again, Liam Payne has no fighting experience, so the news that he’s gearing up to box Tommy Fury, who’s currently undefeated as a pro battler, is surprising to say the least.
Note that Tommy Fury most recently notched a win over fairly dominant fighter (and otherwise clownish) Jake Paul, who announced his return to the ring on the same day that news broke of Fury and Liam Payne’s inexplicable fight.
Again, Payne has never fought professionally before and has really just kept to himself since One Direction broke up in 2015.
Bandmates Harry Styles and Zayn Malik remain in the headlines pretty frequently, mostly thanks to their high-profile relationships with women like Emily Ratajkowski, Olivia Wilde, and Selena Gomez, but also because their music remains in big-time rotation.
Not that Liam Payne is a musical underdog, necessarily: his 2017 music video for “Strip That Down,” a Quavo feature, boasts over 371 million views on YouTube.
Still, Payne is very much a fighting underdog going into this purported bout with Tommy Fury, apparently set to go down in Summer 2023.
Remember, though Tommy Fury is a rookie fighter, he’s well-versed in the art of boxing given both his relationship to brother Tyson and years of training. Payne, meanwhile, is best known for singing and — it cannot be stressed enough — definitely not fighting.
Perhaps it’s merely a gimmick fight meant to give Tommy Fury a boost in publicity and Liam Payne a glorious return to the spotlight (both men are up-and-comers to some extent) though it feels more like a left-field shocker than a deserved headline bout but, then again, this is boxing. Hucksters welcome.