BOXING · Sun (8/29) @ 12:00 am ET
|Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland, OH
This is shockingly one of the biggest fights of the boxing year. Jake Paul is 3-0 in his career with 3 knockout victories. He faces off against former UFC champion Tyron Woodley. At his best, Woodley was an extremely well-rounded fighter with incredible athleticism to boot. At his worst — he lost his last four UFC fights — he was a passive striker who didn’t fire enough volume on the feet to be successful. Tyron Woodley vs. Jake Paul could be the end of the road for Paul. Paul has made a serious living beating up non-boxers.
Tyron Woodley’s move into boxing Jake Paul projects as a serious step up in competition. Paul’s last opponent — Ben Askren — was a horrific boxer who was supposed to train with legendary coach Freddie Roach. He allegedly left that camp after a week.
Furthermore, Askren was not in good shape. He even admitted that he wasn’t particularly upset about the loss during his post-fight press conference. Tyron Woodley will be taking this seriously and has legitimate power in his hands. Woodley vs. Paul
Why Is Jake Paul Fighting Tyron Woodley?
Jake Paul is fighting Tyron Woodley because he is a legitimate MMA competitor. Despite being well past his prime, Woodley is a legitimate puncher and the most physically gifted athlete that Paul has faced.
However, there are a ton of unknowns in this fight. Tyron Woodley has never been in a professional boxing match. Furthermore, Jake Paul is 3-0 but his competition consists of total domination of a former NBA bench player and a retired wrestling specialist.
This should be a significant step up in competition. To be fair, Jake Paul has only been boxing for a few years. To ask him to fight real boxers immediately is unrealistic.
Paul recognizes how difficult this fight should be. Paul’s team even forced Woodley to sign an automatic rematch clause if Paul loses.
Woodley’s manager, Malki Kawa said to MMA Fighting,
“Jake Paul’s team negotiated an automatic rematch clause. That’s how much this is a scary fight to them. If we win this fight, if Jake Paul wants it, then we have to run it back with him.”
Woodley has tons of incentive to win this fight. The chance at a second payday by beating Jake Paul is probably more money than he has made his entire MMA career.
How Many Rounds Is Woodley vs. Paul?
Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley is scheduled for 8 two-minute rounds. A normal boxing fight lasts 12 rounds and they are 3 minutes in length.
Paul has consistently fought fighters that are much smaller than him. Ben Askren normally fights at 155 pounds and is 5’11. Nate Robinson is 5 feet 9 inches tall and played basketball most of his life.
Paul will still have a size advantage against Woodley. Jake Paul is 6’1 and Tyron Woodley is 5’9. Not coincidentally, Paul is a -167 favorite to beat Woodley.
Tyron Woodley is a cautious fighter who rarely pushes the pace. However, he does have legitimately good footwork. If Tyron Woodley truly uses his footwork and defense, it could be tough for Paul to pull off a knockout victory.
Oddsmakers are betting on another knockout victory for Paul. The fight to not go the distance comes in at -1200. That line is lunacy and should not be bet by anyone. If you follow Woodley’s career, you know that he is a very patient fighter. Furthermore, Woodley has plenty of knockout victories to his credit and a deadly overhand right hook. This should make Paul think twice before he charges in looking for an early knockout.
Despite Woodley never boxing professionally, this fight will be plenty more competitive than Paul’s last fights. Value-wise, Paul as a favorite does surprise me slightly. Woodley will be undersized so I don’t expect him to get a knockout win. Paul is the most likely fighter to land a finish to win. However, at -150 on DraftKings Sportsbook and others, I don’t project much value in that at all.
I much prefer smaller bets on the fight to go the distance, Woodley ML, and Woodley by decision. Enough is not being made about the shortened round times and Woodley’s ability to stay in fights. I don’t hate a bet on Paul to win by a decision either. There is plenty of value on both fighters by decision but I prefer Woodley to win via decision given his experience, betting price and, motivation to win this fight. Askren clearly had no motivation last time out.
Woodley vs. Paul Betting Pick(s): Fight goes to decision +600 | Woodley ML +150 | Woodley wins by decision +1800 (BetRivers Sportsbook)