Former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley made his professional boxing debut in August against YouTuber turned boxer Jake Paul, and lost by split decision.
Following the fight, Woodley called for a rematch and Paul seemed to agree, but opted instead to take on Tommy Fury. Two weeks before the Dec. 18 event, Fury pulled out of the fight due to injury. Woodley didn’t hesitate to step in.
During the Paul vs. Woodley II Media Workouts on Wednesday, Woodley explained what he was doing when he got the call the Fury was out.
“I was doing a movie and training. It’ the fight that should have happened in the first place. This is the fight that everybody is talking about anyway,” Woodley said.
One judge did score Woodley defeating Paul in their first meeting. Woodley plans to make a few small adjustments that he believes will make the difference on Saturday.
“I think that he was able to get some little free shots off that he shouldn’t have ever been able to get off. The defense is going to be a little bit tighter. The activity is going to be a little bit higher,” Woodley said. “The rest you’ll see Saturday.”
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Heading into their first fight in August, Paul was largely characterized as a YouTube celebrity that was able to use his popularity to jump into boxing but hadn’t faced a legitimate opponent yet. Woodley didn’t take Paul lightly and trained like he was going to face the likes of Mike Tyson.
“He didn’t do anything that surprised me. He was trying to play you guys, saying he’s some YouTuber and wasn’t really acting like he was taking it serious, but I knew he was taking it serious. All the other guys before me, they took it light and they go knocked out,” Woodley said.
“I took it as I was fighting Mike Tyson. I trained hard. I was ready. I was in shape. I’m in shape this time, so I’m excited about this fight.”
Woodley doesn’t expect the rematch on Saturday to go the distance. Believing he’s been able to formulate a better game plan this time, Woodley predicted that he’ll win by knockout. The event is being billed as “Leave No Doubt,” and Woodley doesn’t plan on leaving any.
“Knock him the f*ck out,” Woodley said when asked what ‘leave no doubt’ meant to him.
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