JAKE PAUL said 'it is very possible' that Tyson Fury broke his brother Tommy's ribs with their brutal medicine ball drill.
Tommy was due to fight celebrity rival Paul next weekend, December 18, in Florida.
But he was forced to pull out of the grudge match with a broken rib and chest infection.
Just a month beforehand, heavyweight champion Fury, who was training his brother, posted a clip of him dropping a medicine ball onto Tommy's stomach.
The exercise, performed to boost core strength, could have been a factor in Tommy's subsequent withdrawal, Paul, 24, claimed.
He said on the MMA Hour: “I have seen the footage and who knows it is very possible. It is very possible that could break a rib for sure.
"When I do that drill we take precautions and are careful because you hear stories of fighters getting injured while trying to work on their abs.”
In Paul's first three fights, he beat YouTuber 'AnEsonGib', ex-NBA star Nate Robinson, 37, and retired UFC welterweight Ben Askren, also 37.
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But his biggest win to date was against Tyron Woodley, 39, over eight rounds, with Tommy, 22, beating the YouTuber's sparring partner Anthony Taylor, 32.
It set up the mega-fight, until Tommy pulled out, leaving ex-UFC champion Woodley to sign as his replacement.
Tommy's dad John later claimed a 17-stone 'idiot' broke his son's rib with a 'bare knuckle' punch.
And his ex-trainer, British boxing legend Ricky Hatton, assured brother Fury would have been experienced enough to avoid an injury with the medicine ball, squashing Paul's theory.
Hatton told The Metro: "There has been a bit of speculation that the injury might have come from those training sessions we saw, where Tyson was bouncing those medicine balls off Tommy’s stomach in the gym.
I have seen the footage and who knows it is very possible. It is very possible that could break a rib for sure.
"It can be done. I remember Floyd Mayweather Sr doing a similar thing with me.
"He was driving those medicine balls into me with everything he had and I was 10 stone 8 which I thought was f***ing diabolical.
"I was all skin and bone and he was whacking it into me with all his might. He 100 per cent could have cracked my rib!
"But Tyson is experienced enough to have known what he was doing there. He would have been doing it at the right pace.
"But even the slightest little tickler on the ribs can cause a problem. It doesn’t even have to be a heavy punch.
"All it needs is a little bang on a weak area, it is so easily done so I don’t think we can speculate too much on that."
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