CLEVELAND -- Tensions between Jake Paul (and Tyron Woodley) were already high, and things heated up on Thursday.
Woodley heard Paul's team member talk trash to Woodley's mother Deborah while she was seated in the crowd with camp members and media after the Paul vs. Woodley newsconference at the Hilton. Woodley's sister reacted verbally to the Paul training partner. Woodley tried to make it through the crowd to his mother, but was stopped by the Paul team member.
Woodley, his family, and team were eventually removed from the room after a heated exchange of vulgar language. The scene was ugly and could have been worse. However, it ended in a more peaceful manner. Nobody was hurt.
Woodley stated that disrespect is something he doesn't do. It's a whole problem when disrespect is shown to my mother. F--- this money, f--- that bag, f--- pay-per-view and f--- fight. It will not be tolerated if it comes to this.
Jason Miller/Getty Images
Woodley and Paul are set to fight in a boxing match on Sunday. Paul, the YouTuber-turned-prizefighter, is known for his antics, trash talk and creating content. Woodley, a former UFC Welterweight Champion, is expected to be the most difficult test in Paul's young boxing career.
Stephen Espinoza, Showtime Sports president, told ESPN that he would examine the footage to determine if the two camps should be separated further or if additional security was necessary.
Espinoza stated, "It's not a good thing." "We are still trying to figure it out. It is something I can understand on one level. It is a hot topic that emotions are running high. This was a heated campaign and sometimes families get involved. There were definitely things that went beyond the lines on both sides. It happened quickly and was quickly dispersed. It's not something we want to see. We'll take steps to ensure that this promotion doesn't happen again.
Paul and Woodley completed the square-off photo op. Woodley claimed that he heard his mother talking to someone a few feet away in the hotel crowd. Woodley stated that it didn't matter what was said.
Woodley stated, "They shouldn’t have said anything." They shouldn't have asked her "what's two times two?" I'm looking and trying to faceoff, and I can hear my mom talking back and forth. It's unacceptable for something to be going back and forth. It doesn't matter who you are or what your nationality is. It's unacceptable."
Woodley became furious and demanded an explanation from Paul team member for talking trash to his mother. Paul tried to laugh it off and continue talking trash.
Woodley stated that Paul didn't know any better. He doesn't understand this lifestyle. You'll see the f---ing room shaken in a way that you've never seen. F--- the UFC ---, knockout ---. I will f---ing hurt people. You will start to see orange [Paul's team colors] drop and hit the floor.
Paul stated to ESPN that he was disappointed by what happened and believed both sides were wrong. He stated that normally, he would be happy for an incident that would promote the fight. However, he said that he had just spoken about Women's Equality Day. Sunday's co-main event would feature a women's bout: Amanda Serrano against Yamileth Mercado.
Paul stated, "I'm sitting there talking about how much my mom loves me, and how much my girlfriend loves me." "Then Tyron's mom gets in an altercation. It was just what I wished it was. If it were something else, I would be happy to sell more pay-per view. It was just not something I liked, especially considering how it ended.
"This is the fight business. This is part. Sometimes, I feel like we forget this. It's not soccer, even though I'm upset. Everyone is kind and respectful. We are trying to get each other's heads off literally. This is dangerous. It is important to remember that this sport can be dangerous.
Paul stated that he would not make an apology to Woodley for the sake of his team.
Paul stated, "I don’t believe it’s necessary." "There are only a few more days that I can deal with him or see him. Everyone will go home, eat dinner and forget about it. At the end of each day, we're all men or women. We are not going to feel resentful."
Deborah Woodley is a regular at her son's UFC fights. She is highly respected within the MMA community. Her son lost in the UFC, but she is well-known for her kindness and willingness to hug him.
Tyron Woodley stated that the situation was not an antic. That's disgraceful. This is an outlier. He could have taken my hat, took my f---ing glasses. He could have taken my hat and my f---ing glasses. He made a joke. He could have shoved me. He could have slapped me, but still. He crossed the line."