I know there are/were world championship boxing matches this week, but the biggest fight in terms of expected site traffic is the rematch between social media star Jake Paul (4-0, 3 KOs) and former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley (0-1, 0 KOs). Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL will play host to this Showtime PPV event, which does feature the return of Amanda Serrano on the undercard if you want legitimate high-level boxing.
Last time Paul and Woodley fought was in late August, with Paul taking an eight-round split decision that Woodley insists he won. Instead of a planned immediate rematch, Jake eyed a bout with Tommy Fury, but when Fury withdrew a couple of weeks back, in stepped Woodley to give us the rematch.
I’m a professional and a fight of this magnitude is going to get the thorough, detailed analysis that it deserves.
Main Event Preview
Paul began his pro boxing career by stopping fellow YouTuber AnEsonGib in a round. Then he wiped out retired NBA player Nate Robinson last year in a fight where Paul basically looked like a 15-year professional when compared to the complete lack of skills from Robinson. He “graduated” to fighting actual combat sports athletes, and knocked out an out of shape, semi-retired Ben Askren in April of this year. Evidently that has sparked so much interest in other MMA fighters taking him on that we got the Woodley fight, and now another one.
Woodley, a teammate and friend of Ben’s, saw his UFC title reign end against Kamaru Usman in 2019 and by the early part of 2021 his days inside the Octagon were over after a submission loss to Vicente Luque. From UFC champion to out of the promotion on a four-fight losing streak. Against Paul, one of the main issues that plagued him in many of his MMA fights reared its ugly head in the boxing ring. CompuBox had Woodley throwing only 29 total punches through the first three rounds, and by the time he upped his activity and actually got Paul off-balance, he ended up throwing away a couple of the later rounds for the L. Hard to win if you don’t throw.
If nothing else, Paul throws a passable jab and was willing to go to the body to sap Woodley’s gas tank. Woodley barely attempted to jab and didn’t exactly invite a lot of prolonged exchanges. He’s obviously a very rudimentary boxer otherwise and is fighting appropriate levels of competition. Woodley may have a powerful right hand but his speed is not what it once was and a lot of his boxing success in the UFC was predicated off of the takedown threat. In other words, even if he beats Paul in the rematch, he has absolutely zero long-term viability in the sport unless it’s against other MMA fighters or Jake Paul caliber opposition.
I wrote way too many paragraphs for a fight of this quality.
Amanda Serrano (41-1-1, 30 KOs) is far and away the best actual boxer on this entire card. The seven-division women’s champion is taking a non-title lightweight bout against Miriam Gutierrez (14-1, 6 KOs), who unsuccessfully challenged for Katie Taylor’s four titles in November 2020. It is expected that if Serrano wins on Saturday night, she will face Taylor in 2022. If that happens it’d be one of the biggest women’s boxing matches in history. Serrano is one of the heaviest punchers in all of women’s boxing and she really has a penchant for punishing her opponents to the body. This shouldn’t be that competitive on paper but there’s been some weird stuff happening lately.
Former NBA star Deron Williams and legendary NFL running back Frank Gore are gonna duke it out over the course of four rounds. It will be an exhibition as opposed to the original plan of having these two fight as professionals.
Junior welterweights Liam Paro (21-0, 13 KOs) and Yomar Alamo (20-0-1, 12 KOs) open up the PPV broadcast and I’ll be the first to say I know absolutely nothing about either one of these dudes. Hopefully it’s a good fight.
As a side note, MMA fighters Anthony Taylor and Chris Avila (best known for his Diaz Brothers association) are gonna be competing off-TV.
Basically the same fight as last time but a very controversial ending that springs the trilogy. Maybe this will be different if Woodley actually does try to throw more than a handful of punches. Split Draw.
The Showtime pay-per-view event takes place at Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL on Saturday, December 18th at a special early start time of 9 PM ET/6 PM PT. Main event ring walks are most likely in the 12 AM ET/9 PM PT area, but maybe earlier depending on the length of the undercard.