With long-time verbal sparring partner Tommy Fury out of commission (details here), Jake Paul’s return to the ring this weekend (Sat., Dec. 18, 2021) will see him once again take on former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight kingpin, Tyron Woodley, atop a FITE/Showtime pay-per-view (PPV).
The 192-pound grudge match is one of four on the main card, which will also see seven-division champion Amanda Serrano face Mirian Gutierrez, three-time NBA All-Star Deron Williams lace up the gloves against the NFL’s No. 3 all-time rusher in Frank Gore, and Liam Paro fight Yomar Alamo in a clash of undefeated Super Lightweight prospects.
The main event’s big enough to warrant its own post (which will publish tomorrow at noon), so let’s first have a look at the supporting cast ...
135 lbs.: Amanda Serrano (41-1-1) vs. Miriam Gutierrez (14-1)
Serrano is unquestionably one of the most accomplished fighters on the planet, and she could very well be the best finisher in women’s boxing. All signs point to a pending clash with the impeccable Katie Taylor next year; only Gutierrez, who unsuccessfully challenged the undisputed Lightweight queen last year, stands in her way.
With all due respect to the Gutierrez, she doesn’t figure to be much of a roadblock, as she showed little in that Taylor fight besides heart and the durability to stay on her feet despite her leaky defense letting tons of clean punches through. The jury’s out on whether Serrano’s a better fighter than Taylor at this weight, but she’s definitely a heavier hitter, and I’m not convinced the 38-year-old Gutierrez can survive the sort of punishment “The Real Deal” can dish out.
All Gutierrez really has going for her is that she’s the naturally bigger woman, which doesn’t figure to be a game-changer when she lacks a commensurate level of power. She can’t even rely on trying to exhaust Serrano by making her carry her weight, as they’ve only got two-minute rounds to work with. Serrano punishes her midsection for a statement-making mid-round finish.
Prediction: Serrano via sixth-round technical knockout
215 lbs.: Deron Williams (0-0) vs. Frank Gore (0-0)
This is a basketball player fighting a football player. I don’t exactly have a lot of data to work with here. I’m not shaking my fist at a lack of boxing purity, just acknowledging that this is pretty far outside of my wheelhouse. I can’t even try to extrapolate from their original careers; Williams never interacted enough with my beloved Spurs for me to pay attention to him and Gore somehow slipped past my notice even before I stopped watching football as anything but a social activity.
That said, smashing into people is more central to a running back’s job description than a point guard’s, unless you count taking charges. Everyone has a plan ‘til they get punched in the mouth, so I’ll take the guy who’s more used to making snap decisions while >200-pound men careen into him at high speeds.
Prediction: Gore via unanimous decision
140 lbs.: Liam Paro (21-0) vs. Yomar Alamo (20-0-1)
This is easily the most competitive match up on the card and one of just two meaningful ones alongside the co-main event. Both Paro and Alamo are young, accomplished on their respective scenes, and due for a step up in class.
After going back and forth a few times, I think I’ll take Paro. Alamo’s got an excellent jab and good footwork, but his power punches just seem awkward at times, while Paro can put some visible oomph behind his shots without losing fluidity. While Alamo can win if he stays mobile and keeps the fight at range without committing to big exchanges, Paro figures to land the sorts of shots that can push him just ahead in a game of inches.
Again, it’s a coin flip of a fight that could easily have a ton of swing rounds. I just like Paro to do enough to catch the judges’ eyes and take a razor-thin decision.
Prediction: Paro via split decision
MMAmania.com will have LIVE coverage of the “Paul vs. Woodley 2” PPV main card this weekend (Sat., Dec. 18, 2021) right here. The FITE/Showtime PPV kicks off at 9 p.m. ET, with Paul and Woodley likely to make the walk closer to midnight.
For more news and detailed information on “Paul vs. Woodley 2” click here. For the complete PPV fight card and untelevised “Prelims” lineup click here. Bet on the full Paul-Woodley 2 card at DraftKings Sportsbook.