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2 Mar, 2021 14:58

‘He’s in on the joke’: Twitter goes wild after Tyson Fury uses fake figures to claim his brother is bigger than Canelo Alvarez

‘He’s in on the joke’: Twitter goes wild after Tyson Fury uses fake figures to claim his brother is bigger than Canelo Alvarez

Tyson Fury has been taunted by fans after the social media-loving boxing champion claimed his unbeaten brother, Tommy, had outperformed headline shows in the US and around the world at the weekend – using figures made up by a fan.

Hugely-followed prospect Tommy smashed Scott Williams in London on Saturday to claim the fifth win of his career, thrilling some of his vast Instagram fanbase of more than 3.2 million.

At 21, chiseled Fury is as well-known in the UK for his celebrity status, TV appearances and bulging muscles as his burgeoning boxing exploits, causing interminable debates about whether he is being hyped by casual fans or can achieve his dreams of recreating the glories that his WBC title-holding sibling has stunned the world with.

Typically outspoken Tyson appeared unequivocal. "Massive congratulations for smashing records," he told the younger fighter, including a screenshot of a note made on a mobile phone purporting to show the audience totals from various shows.

"Tommy slaughtered the competition over the weekend, including America’s biggest boxing star, Canelo Alvarez. Wow – just wow."

Fury called out the world's largest boxing broadcasters in his post, including ESPN, DAZN and Sky Sports, and asked social media sensation and rookie boxer Jake Paul, who appeared on the undercard of the pricey pay-per-view showdown between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr last year, whether he would be willing to fight his brother.

TV bosses might have been alerted to the unreliability of the figures, though, by fans being baffled and entertained by them in equal measure.

While a show in Kazakhstan run by the MTK company that Tyson Fury is associated with was said to have averaged almost 30,000 more viewers than Tommy Fury's win, its stated peak figure of 140,000 was dwarfed by the British show, which the note said had reached an incredible 1.9 million people on BT Sport.

Multi-weight champion Canelo's vanquishing of Avni Yildirim, meanwhile, was said to have averaged a peak of just 105,000 viewers.

That paltry figure seemed instantly improbable for one of the most heavily-supported fighters in the world, who was said to have drawn around 18 million watchers in his native Mexico alone when he beat up Callum Smith in December.

Sure enough, a boxing joker on social media celebrated as they owned up to the fabrication. The user, known as Del G, had explained the previous weekend that he intended to "publish completely made-up numbers" so that "people with nothing better to do can passionately argue about it."

The online prankster predicted that the stunt "should be good", and they were not disappointed as a stampede of posters weighed in with contrasting views on the fake numbers, with many seeming to immediately accept them as true.

There was disbelief and mockery when it emerged that arguably the world's best-known active heavyweight boxer had republished the figures. "Done him like a kipper," said one, laughing at the sight of Fury boasting about the clearly exaggerated figure for his brother's fight.

"Just as long as this doesn’t derail any Tommy vs Jake Paul negotiations on who’s the A-side, I’m good with it," added another.

It is unclear whether the unpredictable Fury knew that the figures were fake and made the post as another attempt at a wind-up, having been known for his eccentric sense of humor throughout his career.

"We assumed Tyson Fury had f***ed up by publishing Del's viewing figures to his millions of figures," suggested one fan.

"The fact he's left that tweet up just tells me he's in on the joke, which makes me love the man a little bit more."

The originator of the claims was ecstatic. "Pinning this and never doing another tweet on this account again," they bragged, likening themselves to boxing icons Rocky Marciano, Joe Calzaghe and Floyd Mayweather. "Nice knowing you all."

They swiftly returned to revisit their coup, responding to one plaudit: "Was only a Mayweather-style retirement. It’s been a good day. Thanks for your kind words."

Calling themsevles "the new Gypsy King" – a reference to Tyson Fury's nickname – they proceeded to provide a breakdown of the imagined figures by confirming that the colossal count included viewings on an app.

"I was reminded that they conservatively estimate that at least 2.3 people were watching on every device – so that’s 10 million eyes or five million people all watching Tommy Fury," they expanded.

"DAZN are 'really happy' with their figures, given the times they were on and the number of subscribers they have. But they’ll wish they had Tommy Fury on their platform. No doubt."

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