Chaos and new internet memes were made this past Saturday night as the Jake Paul v. Tyron Woodley card lived up to its social media hype. While the question of “is this really boxing?” may have been brought up from time to time, it seems this is the current state of boxing.
Many of its biggest fighters have spoken out against the quick rich scheme that fighting has continued to draw celebs. Now everyone who has thrown a left hook thinks going 5 or 9 rounds is the answer to their financial problems. This sad state of boxing falls heavily on the shoulders of the boxers, promoters, and ultimately, the networks that fork over the money and coverage. From a financial standpoint, boxing is doing the best it has been for years. From a popular standpoint, the reputation of boxing is being burned alive. Last Saturday was just another log tossed onto the already burning flame.
Before we get to the Paul v. Woodley matchup, we must talk about the two 36+ year old men with nothing better to do. In their first professional boxing debuts, ex-NBA point guard Deron Williams took on ex-NFL running back Frank Gore. During the four-round bout, both “boxers” looked out of practice and out of their element, more so Gore. Williams on the other hand seemed more to be well equipped for the fight out of the two. Williams beat Gore by split decision (38-37, 37-38, 40-35), but that wasn’t what made the fight trending on Twitter.
In the second round of the match, Williams began to land a fury of punches on Gore. Backing in him a corner, Williams shoved Gore hard out of the ring. Williams gained a warning from the ref, but Gore earned his place in meme Hall of Fame faster than his NFL one. Gore praised Williams after the match and spoke about “going to go back and talk with my team to see what I’ve got to learn” before his next match.
As for Williams, he’s a one-and-done kind of guy.
“Originally I didn’t think boxing was a way to do it because this celebrity boxing thing wasn’t really a thing until the last year and a half, two years when the Paul brothers kind of made it popular,” Williams told Sports Illustrated‘s Chris Mannix just before the bout “I’m just looking at it as I’m fighting Frank Gore on Dec. 18, and then you probably won’t hear from me for a while again.”
Luckily for Gore, his meme wasn’t the talk of the town for long as Jake Paul did what Jake Paul does best.
YouTube star turned famed boxer Jake Paul took down former UFC champion Tyron Woodley in the sixth round of their rematch. The match throughout was lackluster, to say the least, with both fighters not having much say over the control of the match. Paul knocked out Woodley cold, birthing a new meme in the process.
Woodley replaced Paul’s original opponent, Tommy Fury, the half-brother of heavyweight champ Tyson Fury, on just two weeks’ notice when Tommy Fury withdrew due to a broken rib and a chest infection. Both fighters were contracted for 192 pounds over eight rounds. Paul beat Woodley in the first fight via split decision on Aug. 29 in Paul’s hometown of Cleveland. Saturday’s bout had a clause that if Woodley knocked out his foe he would win an extra $500,000.
After the match, Jake Paul acknowledges Woodley’s heart to agree to fight on short notice.
“[Woodley] is a legend, don’t take anything away from his career as a UFC champion,” Paul said. “He took this fight on two weeks’ notice because Tommy Fury is a bitch. That’s a tough guy right there [in Woodley,] he’s a legend. He tried to catch the punch in front and like a lumberjack, timber.”
Being Jake Paul, the night wouldn’t end without him calling out for more competition. During the press conference, Paul called out other UFC fighters like Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz. Both were seated courtside and both are under contract with the UFC. Paul told them to break free from “Daddy Dana” White, the UFC president, and join the world of boxing. In just a year alone, Jake Paul has secured four PPVs while raking in millions with each fight. If it’s one thing Jake Paul knows how to do is to sell a great time. Maybe I had it wrong when I wrote this, maybe Paul is just what boxing needs right now.