Jake Paul was tested by former UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley but ultimately won the grudge match inside a boxing ring.
In front of his hometown fans, Paul beat Woodley via split decision (77-75, 75-77, 78-74) to remain undefeated. It was a fight that answered questions on if Paul could win under serious pressure. Despite the fact that he was wobbled by Woodley in the third and fourth round, the YouTube and former Disney star continues to prove he won't go down as easily as many hope he does during each fight he is in.
"I don't know what to say. He was a tough opponent and he's been fighting for so many years and I'm still new to this," Paul stated after the fight. "My legs felt weird, I wasn't sure what was wrong with me. All respect to Tyron though. He's a Hall of Famer and put up a good fight. I have nothing but respect for him. There's no hard feelings. This feels amazing to do this for my city and it's a dream come true
"He hit me with one shot the whole fight, and it was a good shot. It was one real good shot. I don't know what that one judge saw. But l still got the victory. For me to come here and go eight rounds in my fourth fight, who does that? I'm doing things that have never been done."
This was Woodley's first professional boxing fight following a long career in MMA in which he has won multiple championships. The 39-year-old brought power and speed into the fight that many of Jake's previous opponents lacked. He would not utilize that until the later rounds, however. Woodley took this fight after Paul beat Ben Askren, a teammate of Woodley's.
The fight started off with Paul as the aggressor, as he landed multiple jabs that pushed Woodley back. With the reach advantage going to Paul, Woodley tried to lean in and land overhands multiple times. Paul could see it from a mile away, however. Woodley was able to land some solid jabs. He did feel gun shy early on, while Paul went to the body and head several times.
By round three, Woodley landed a straight right that appeared to have stunned Paul. He carried some of that momentum into round four, a round Paul was unfamiliar with at this point in his young career. Woodley landed a counter punch and also managed to rock Paul with a right. It appeared as though he was getting to Paul.
Dealing with adversity for the first time, Paul was able to overcome and persevere. He landed jabs and solid lefts. Paul continued to attack the body while also moving as best as he could to avoid Woodley's shots. Paul landed combinations and although he looked tired, was able to reach forward and land left hooks.
Woodley had multiple chances to end the fight, but he could not take advantage of any situation. He thought he had Paul beat several times throughout the fight, however.
"I feel like I won the fight," Woodley stated. "Jake is a great opponent. I didn't expect him to eat my punches like that. But the fact that one judge only gave me two rounds is insane. Forget that Tommy Fury fight. Let's run that back.
"Nobody is going to sell the PPV like we did. The ropes held him up when I hit him. I could have had that knockdown. I walked him down and landed back time and time again. I landed power punches, he missed shots all night."
Not landing enough volume shots, Woodley would try and land whatever he could. Both ended up trading blows, with Paul landing nice overhand shots. The last round saw Woodley hit a big right, but Paul responded with an overhand right. Both landed blows, with Paul playing games until the final few seconds of the fight.
According to CompuBox, Paul landed 71 shots compared to 52 from Woodley. Jake led in punches-per-round six times.
As far as what is next for both, Woodley wanted a rematch. Paul would accept it if Woodley went through with their original bet of the loser getting an "I Love..." the winner tattoo. There is also Tommy Fury for Paul, who beat Anthony Taylor earlier in the night.
With over 16,000 fans inside the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, one thing is for sure: whatever Jake Paul does next, people (fans and enemies alike) will be watching.