Jake Paul went the distance for the first time in his young pro boxing career, winning an eight-round split decision over former UFC champion Tyron Woodley in Cleveland.
Scores were 77-75 and 78-74 for Paul, with one judge seeing it 77-75 for Woodley, which was by far the most puzzling card. Bad Left Hook had it 77-75 for Paul, and while that is a close score, it’s really hard to figure where five rounds for Woodley would come from. Three seems like the most you can really say he won in the fight.
Paul (4-0, 3 KO) did get rocked a little bit in the fourth round, and certainly showed fatigue as the fight wore on, but Woodley (0-1 in boxing) just didn’t have enough output, didn’t throw enough, and despite walking Paul down consistently, didn’t take the momentum often enough.
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Paul certainly didn’t overpower Woodley the way he did his first three opponents, but he landed more and boxed pretty well off the back foot given his experience level.
“I don’t know what to say, but he’s a tough opponent. He’s been boxing, fighting, striking, whatever you want to call it, for twentysomething years. I’ve been doing this for three years,” Paul said. “This was tougher than I expected. My legs felt weird in the locker room, I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but he’s a tough opponent. He’s a great fighter, a Hall of Famer, he came in shape. I have nothing but respect for him, and my apologies to his team if anyone felt disrespected.”
Paul also didn’t agree with the split decision.
“I mean, let’s be honest, that’s bullshit. Like, come on. Especially in my hometown, like, where’s that judge at?” Paul said with a smile. “I mean, he hit me with one good shot the whole fight. I don’t know what they were looking at, but it’s all good, I still got the victory. I got eight rounds under my belt.”
As for possibly fighting Tommy Fury next, Paul said, “We’ll see. I’ve been boxing for 18 months now. I think I might need to chill out for a second and figure out who I am. I’m only 24, I’m changing, I’m growing. I’ll get back in the gym when I’m ready, and we’ll see.”
Woodley called for a rematch, saying he felt he’d won the fight, saying he wants the second fight immediately. He spoke about it pretty respectfully, but Jake said, “Hey, look, of course he wants a payday. You had your opportunity,” and suddenly there was no respect between the two, as the trash talking came back.
“If you get the tattoo, ‘I love Jake Paul,’ let’s run it back,” Paul said. So I guess Woodley’s getting the tattoo. Or not. Who knows?