By: Sean Crose
Jake Paul stepped into the ring in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio Sunday with a thin record of 3-0. His brash personality and showmanship, however, had worked wonders for his burgeoning ring career – as did his fame as a social media star. And so it was that the colorful Paul squared off against former UFC great Tyron Woodley, who was making his professional boxing debut, in a scheduled eight round cruiserweight matchup before a sold out crowd at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The fact the Paul-Woodley bout was also a pay per view affair made it clear how well Paul’s “bad guy” routine was working with the public.
Paul controlled the first, perhaps due to the fact that Woodley didn’t throw much. Paul continued to control the second, as he was able to use distance effectively. The third saw Paul putting punches together well, and Woodley landing well at the bell. Woodley rocked his man at the end of the fourth. Paul survived the round, but he was starting to look gassed. Paul looked better in the fifth, though he was certainly in a fight. The sixth was essentially a repeat of the sixth.
In the seventh it became clear that, had he started boxing earlier in his career, Woodley would have shown some real promise. He was calm and conserved energy well. Unfortunately for Woodley, he simply didn’t land enough. Woodley actually seemed to take the eighth and final round – but it wasn’t enough. Paul walked out with another win, this time via split decision.
Things, of course, ended oddly. Paul – surprisingly – was very gracious to Woodley after the fight. Woodley, however, was adamant that he deserved a rematch. Paul then said that if Woodley got a tattoo that they previously bet the loser would get, he would fight Woodley again. Woodley agreed and they shook on it.
Never a dull moment.
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