Jake Paul improved to 4-0 as a professional boxer, picking up his biggest win to date by defeating former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley, via split decision last night (Sun., Aug. 29, 2021) in Cleveland, Ohio.
And that’s all Paul needed to up his ammunition for future trash talk and credibility as a professional fighter.
You see, beating a fellow YouTube star, knocking out a retired NBA player and blasting a grappler like Ben Askren was just the tip of the iceberg. While the performances did the job of getting wins on his resume, they weren’t doing much to convince combat connoisseurs that he could actually throw hands. He does have decent technique, and he has obviously been putting in work at the gym, so you can’t take that away from him. But, taking out all three of those aforementioned opponents doesn’t exactly scream high quality boxing.
Enter Tyron Woodley.
All respect to Woodley, but no one will confuse “The Chosen One” as an accomplished pure boxer because he was, after all, making his debut in the sport against Paul. Sure, he has knockout wins on his MMA resume, but as we all know, MMA and boxing are two different sports, two different rules, two different beasts.
All that said, Woodley was just what Paul was looking for: a former UFC world champion, not particularly known as a pure boxer and as an added bonus, was in a slump, having lost four straight at the age of 39. It was a win-win situation for Paul because had he lost it would have been to a former UFC world champion. In victory, though, things just look that much better for “The Problem Child” because ... he beat a former UFC world champion.
He can now forever say he has that win over a potential future UFC Hall of Famer and better yet, one of Dana White’s former title holders. And Paul will never let anyone forget what he did last night. He has bragging rights for years, which means now more than ever he now has the pick of the litter.
And as far as that immediate rematch, don’t hold your breath, Woodley.
Paul will move on, and rightfully so. As he declared post-fight, he will take a break to see what’s next for him. He can always face Tommy Fury — who defeated Anthony Taylor, Paul’s training partner — in Ohio. If Paul accepts that fight, Fury will be the first actual boxer he will have faced to date. Whether or not “The Problem Child” is willing to take on that challenge next, however, is another story.
Something tells me he won’t ... yet.
“I’ve been boxing for 18 months now, I haven’t stopped,” Paul said after the fight. “I might chill out for a second.”
For now, Paul will soak in the huge victory and will carefully plan his next move because that is exactly how he got to where he is today, which is headlining PPV boxing events and commanding the attention of every major sports media outlet, MMA included, to make the trip to cover his fight and give him that much more attention.
Paul will not be taking unnecessary risks that can actually burst his combat bubble. And it’s a smart play, really, because that’s what promoters do with up-and-coming amateurs who are finally climbing the professional ranks. They build them slowly before taking on the cream of the crop. Paul is doing just that, wisely, I might add. He’s just doing it with more flare and with a built-in audience of millions that will keep tuning in to see him do just about anything.
So for those hoping the Paul experiment would come crashing down, brace yourselves because this ride is just getting started.
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