The Mirror claim Fury has pulled out of this weekend’s bout, with Paul instead expected to fight Tyron Woodley as a last-minute replacement.
The pair were due to meet in Florida on Sunday, but Fury, the brother of heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury, is said to have missed training due to illness in recent days, though no reason for his withdrawal has yet been confirmed.
Paul beat UFC fighter Woodley in Cleveland earlier this year to take his unbeaten professional record to four fights. On the same card, Fury beat Anthony Taylor and a heated exchange between the pair on the night heightened the animosity between them.
Fury, who boasts a 7-0 record of his own, would have been Paul’s first full-time professional opponent after the 24-year-old claimed wins against two former MMA stars, an ex-basketball player, and a fellow celeb of the web in his first four fights.
In a fiery press conference ahead of the fight, Fury was in bullish mood about his chances of taking advantage of Paul’s lack of experience.
“I don’t care what he [Paul] says, does or thinks because it’s not important because when he jumps through those ropes on December 18th and when he realises I’m not a YouTuber, I’m not a basketball player, I’m not a wrestler, I’m not a UFC fighter, he’ll get hit with a nice, sharp jab.”