Jake Paul views Tyron Woodley as 'my make-or-break fight' to quiet criticism

2 min read
Jake-Paul-071521-EstherLinShowtime-FTR Esther Lin/Showtime

Criticism has flown Jake Paul's way since he decided to embark on a professional boxing career. 

Paul is 3-0, with all his wins coming via knockout. People in and out of the sport aren't happy that his first three opponents have been fellow social media influencer AnSonGib, former NBA player Nate Robinson, and Ben Askren, the former UFC star and former Bellator world champion with minimal striking experience. 

The man with nearly 41 million followers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok looks to quiet the naysayers when he takes on former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley on Sunday, Aug. 29 in Cleveland.

Out of Woodley's 19 career wins, seven of them have come by knockout. Notable KOs include his title win over Robbie Lawler at UFC 201 and against Josh Koscheck at UFC 167. Woodley's known for his heavy hands and has been working with former pound-for-pound great Floyd Mayweather Jr. in preparation for his boxing debut.

Paul thinks his bout against Woodley is a validation fight to prove to fans in the combat sports world that he's for real.

"For sure," Paul said when asked that very thing by DAZN News. "This is my make-or-break fight. This is my hardest challenge.

"Tyron Woodley has been boxing way longer than I have. He's been knocking people out while I was in high school in science class. This is definitely a tough challenge, and it's the perfect narrative.

"It's high risk, right? My team and I know that going into this, that this guy is dangerous. He's not light work. He's not someone to just mess around with. But that's what we wanted. I don't want to take easy fights. I don't want to pad my record.

"At each try, you will see my level of competition increase. So Tyron Woodley is the perfect man, and that's why August 29, it's going to be entertaining as hell." 

A major boxing event has never come to the city of Cleveland. The UFC has staged events in the town, but the sweet science hasn't come to the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Paul grew up in Westlake, Ohio, which is 15 miles from Cleveland. Returning to the area where he spent his youth was the determining factor in choosing in where the fight took place.

"That was the main reason, 100 percent," Paul said. "I wanted to bring this fight home. I wanted to bring some action to the city of Cleveland.

"I love it here. I love the people here. This is my roots. This is where I first started competing in athletics. So it makes perfect sense to go home, to put on a show, and it's different. Like you said, everyone's doing fights in Vegas. Everyone's doing fights in Florida. I wanted to bring something to the Midwest and get the kids here excited about fighting.

"When I was 10-12 years old, I would come watch the Cavs and LeBron (James) play. That was the highlight of my year sometimes. Now I want to be able to give that same experience to the young kids around here who will maybe come watch me knockout Tyron Woodley."


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