Jeff Fenech says boxing is handing out belts “like ice cream” in the wake of Tommy Fury’s victory over Jake Paul.

Upon seeing Fury receive a shiny new belt from the World Boxing Council (WBC), Australian boxing icon Fenech admitted it is “upsetting for the sport”.

Prior to the grudge match between former Love Island star Fury and ex-YouTuber Paul, the WBC announced that the Diriyah Champion belt would be up for grabs.

“With this win, Fury will be ranked in the World Boxing Council’s cruiserweight division, improving his record to 9-0, with four knockouts,” a statement from the organisation read.

Jeff Fenech. Credit: AlamyTraditionally, championship straps are only on offer during official title fights.

So when news broke regarding the newly-created one-off belt, fans were far from impressed – Fenech being one of them.

“It’s sad in a way we’ve got guys that have had 25, 26 fights and they don’t get ranked,” boxing great Jeff Fenech told Wide World of Sports.

“Here’s this guy who has one fight against a boxer and that’s somebody whose brother is a champion and gets rated and gets a belt .

“We’re giving belts away like giving ice creams away to kids which is upsetting for the sport. But that’s where the sport is at the moment. But anything that can get more eyes on the sport and improves it, we need it.”

With the majority of his wins coming against retired MMA fighters, the prospect of Paul getting ranked after fighting just one pro boxer angered many within the boxing community

But, as we all now know, it was Fury who ended up getting his hand raised – meaning he is now officially ranked by the WBC.

To put things into perspective, Fury’s past opponents’ combined record was 24 wins, 176 losses and 5 draws.

“The WBC are the greatest organisation and they do things for a reason. In my opinion was it worthy of a belt? Maybe not,” Fenech added.

“But what that’s done is put millions more eyes on the sport and millions more people talking about our sport and that’s what we need. The WBC didn’t just give a belt away. They gave it away for a reason.

“Mauricio Sulaiman [WBC president] is a very smart man. As well as being a beautiful guy, he’s smart. He knows everybody is talking about it. Some is negative, some is positive. Any publicity is good publicity.”

According to Sports Zion, Fury earned a career-high $2 million (£1.7 million) as his base salary, plus 35 per cent of the pay-per-view revenue.

As for Paul, his base salary was $3.2 million (£2.7 million), taking home 65 per cent of the total PPV sales.