Though it was only announced last week, the drama keeps building for the Jake Paul vs Tyron Woodley bout.
First, news broke that the scheduled Jake Paul vs Tommy Fury fight would be canceled due to Fury’s ongoing medical issues, which Paul showed zero sympathy for. Immediately following, Paul put up a $500,000 knockout clause if the 39-year-old Woodley is able to knock him out in attempt to dispel rumors of a no-knockout clause in his contract. And this weekend Woodley confirmed there’s also a rematch clause if he’s able to beat Paul in this Saturday’s bout, which starts at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT) on Dec. 18 in Tampa, Florida, at the Amalie Arena.
Precipitating all of this, Paul beat Woodley by a controversial split decision Aug. 29 in Cleveland. Woodley was able to knock Paul into the ropes in Round 4, but when the judges rendered the scorecards, Paul outpointed the former MMA fighter and UFC welterweight champion. Despite Paul landing more total strikes, Woodley still asserts that he won.
“To me, there was no doubt the first time. I watched the fight last night. How do you lose (Rounds) 4, 5, 6, 7, 8? He didn’t win one round after Round 4, and he clearly lost Round 4,” Woodley said in a media interview. “But when I go back out there and win by knockout, then go on to a trilogy and do it again, that’s the real leave no doubt… This is basically what I should have done the first time.”
Paul, a former YouTube star before he turned to boxing, has kept the sideshow going despite a professional boxing career. In their first bout, Paul and Woodley made an in-ring agreement to have a rematch if Woodley got a tattoo on his body that said “I love Jake Paul.” Woodley got the tattoo on his left middle finger in September, but Paul said that Woodley was too late, with Paul vs Fury announced in late October.
Woodley is the only opponent that Paul has failed to knock out as well as the only one who came close to flooring the former YouTube star, rocking Paul during their August contest. Now he only gets about two weeks to prepare for a rematch.
Paul is 4-0 as a pro boxer, with knockout wins over YouTuber AnEsonGib, NBA veteran Nate Robinson, and Olympic wrestler and MMA champion Ben Askren. The Fury fight would’ve been Paul’s first fight with someone similar in height and natural weight.
“It’s just annoying that I even gave these buffoons a chance and they let us down,” Paul said in media interview. “Fighters fight with injuries all the time. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and a lot of times when big fights like these don’t happen, they may never happen because of the trajectories of people’s careers or whatever it might be. It’s upsetting, and it’s embarrassing for the Furys.”
Trolling fame has turned out to be a double-edged sword for Paul as Bellator fighter Dillon Danis, who might just be combat sports’ biggest troll today, began the rumor that Paul had a no-knockout clause in an appearance on The MMA Hour in an attempt to goad a boxing match out of him. In his own response on The MMA Hour, Paul upped the ante to banish this gossip.
“There’s rumors going around that my fights are rigged or I don’t allow my opponents to knock me out in the contract,” Paul addressed when appearing on The MMA Hour. “I’m giving Tyron an extra $500,000 if he can knock me out. It just nips the rumors in the [bud] and shows people that all of my fights have been real, are real, and will continue to be real.”
Paul, of course, will be aiming for a decisive end to the fight on his own end.
“The goal is to knock him out,” Paul said. “After that, I will be able to say I have knocked out every single person that I’ve fought.”
Whatever way it happens, if Paul is able to best Woodley again, a third fight seems unlikely. If Woodley makes good on his promise, however, fans can look forward to the trilogy in 2022.
Paul also indicated a possibility of revisiting a Fury fight in 2022, also making sure to point out that they are a “sketchy family,” citing Tyson, Tommy’s half-brother, pulling out of multiple heavyweight matches.
With all this pre-fight theater, tensions will be high for both sides when the bell rings to begin Saturday’s bout.
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