CLEVELAND -- Those who were hoping for Jake Paul's death at the hands of a big boxer will be disappointed.
The YouTube sensation-turned-prizefighter outpointed Tyron Woodley via split decision (77-75, 75-77, 78-74) in the main event of a boxing card Sunday night at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.
Woodley is a former UFC welterweight champ with many highlight-reel knockouts in his MMA rsum. Woodley stumbled on Paul in the fourth round with a large right hand, but Paul survived and won the fight.
Paul and Woodley agreed that they would rematch the fight if Woodley got an "I Love Jake Paul" tattoo.
Woodley stated, "I didn’t fall to the ground like his competitors." "I walked him down, and gave it back. Let's go back.
Paul is a controversial figure who leverages his millions of social media followers to help him build what he hopes will be a legitimate career in boxing. Woodley was the more skilled combat sports athlete with 27 professional MMA bouts in a 12-year career. He was also a two-time All-American in Division I wrestling at the University of Missouri.
This was Woodley's first pro boxing bout. Woodley's heaviest fight in combat sports was at 190 pounds.
Paul (4-0), was up against the most difficult test in his budding boxing career on Sunday. The native of Cleveland knocked out Ben Askren, a former UFC fighter, MMA champion, and Olympic wrestler in the first round.
Paul stated, "I didn’t fight my hardest tonight." "I give myself a C+minus. Since my first amateur fight, this is my first time in front of a crowd.
Paul, 24 years old, was one of the pioneers of this new genre of boxing when he defeated Nate Robinson, former NBA slam-dunk champion, in the second round. This fight took place on the Mike Tyson Jr. exhibition undercard. Paul stated that he would be the most prominent name in boxing and has made combat sports a whole new genre, headline big-money events without having as much experience as his boxing peers.
His younger followers are very loyal to him. They have been following him since he was 17, on Vine, YouTube, and now TikTok, and Instagram. He was also featured on "Bizaardvark", a Disney Channel series.
Woodley, 39, lost four of his last fights in UFC. He ended his contract in March after a first round submission loss to Vicente Luque, UFC 260. He is one the most successful welterweight fighters of MMA history. He has won four titles as UFC champion at 170-pounds and held the belt from 2016 through 2019. Kamaru Usman defeated Woodley in March 2019 to win the UFC belt.
Paul stated, "He's an extremely tough opponent." He's been doing boxing for many years. This has been my passion for three years.
"It was a harder fight than I expected."
Woodley, a Ferguson, Missouri native, was in Askren’s side against Paul. This matchup was made possible by a verbal dispute between Woodley's and Paul's teams the night of the fight in the same room where Paul was wrapping his hands.
This week saw more shenanigans. The prefight news conference was a shambles when Woodley accused Paul's team member of talking trash about Woodley's mom. Woodley attempted to reach his mother in a hotel ballroom, but was stopped by Paul who pushed the whole thing along.
The situation cooled down only after Woodley and his family and colleagues were removed from the room.
At the KeyBank State Theatre's public weigh-ins, Saturday was another boiling point. Paul was eating chicken fingers while he was being interviewed after the final staredown. Woodley then approached Woodley and offered him wet wipes. Paul grabbed them from Woodley's hands. In an attempt to replicate his May "gotcha" stunt with Floyd Mayweather, he shoved Woodley aside and reached for Woodley’s hat.
Woodley left and was followed by pushing and shoving of people on the stage.