Last night we finally got to see the boxing matchup that the world was waiting on. Former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley (0-1) made his debut in the boxing ring against celebrity turned boxer Jake Paul (4-0).
For the first time, we were going to see Paul tested against someone who can actually throw a punch. Through Paul’s first three matchups he took on a guy from the internet, a former NBA player and a former MMA champion.
He’s taken incremental steps up in competition along the way, but it’s worth noting that the MMA champion he fought was Ben Askren. Askren had arguably the worst striking of all time for a guy that won a world title in MMA.
Tyron Woodley was different. While Woodley’s base MMA skill is wrestling, the former champion knows how to throw and throw with power. Woodley’s biggest knock is his unwillingness to pull the trigger. He needed to be aggressive to win this boxing match with Jake Paul.
In spots last night, we saw Woodley get aggressive. The former champion rocked Paul in the fourth round and had it not been for the ropes, Paul would’ve been knocked down. However, the inactivity and gaps in time between big shots cost him the fight.
Will Woodley and Paul be boxing again?
Jake Paul wasn’t able to knock out Tyron Woodley, but he was able to outpoint him. Paul was effective given the way Woodley fought him and ultimately two of the three judges gave Paul the split decision victory.
Let me be clear, I didn’t think the boxing match should’ve been a split decision. Coming from someone who is the furthest thing from a Jake Paul fan, I can admit that I thought he won five or six rounds pretty clearly last night.
Woodley moved forward a lot, but in the art of boxing, he didn’t do nearly enough to win. I can see more of an argument to give Paul seven rounds than giving the fight to Tyron Woodley.
Woodley was adamant that he believed he won the fight. After the event, Woodley called for an immediate rematch. Paul seemed hesitant but said that if Woodley got a ‘I love Jake Paul’ tattoo, he’d do it. Woodley immediately agreed to the stipulation.
I’m not sure what the boxing event did in terms of PPV numbers, but I can promise you the rematch would do worse. Paul got the win and he should move on from here. He needs to look for ways to improve and look for that next step up in competition.
Woodley had his chance but his downfall is what it’s always been. He seemed stuck in neutral throughout the fight. Sure there were moments where he moved down hill, but for the most part, he was boxing at a neutral pace. I don’t see the rematch going any different.