With Jake Paul and Tyron Woodley set to meet in the boxing ring this weekend, the combat sports world is again wondering whether the 3-0 pro boxer—who made his fame on YouTube—will surprise the masses with another win over a combat sports vet.
Woodley, a former UFC welterweight champion, is certainly the toughest man Paul has ever competed against. However, ‘The Chosen One’ comes into this fight 0-0 with zero pro or amateur boxing experience (just like all Paul’s other opponents).
Someone who is confident in Paul defeating Woodley is MMA vet Anthony Taylor, who has been one of Paul’s sparring partners during this fight camp. He recently spoke with Betway Insider US.
Taylor, who is boxing Tommy Fury on the Paul vs. Woodley undercard, also lifted the lid on Paul’s Puerto Rico-based fight camp and his progression towards becoming a “complete boxer”.
“Jake has improved. You can see his improvements from his first fight with Gib through to Nate Robinson and Ben Askren, kind of cleaning up some of the sloppiness,” revealed Taylor. “He’s kind of like [Bellator featherweight champion] A.J McKee. The way that A.J shows something different every fight, he’s developing every fight. Jake’s improved every camp; he’s developing power, he’s developed speed in his punches, great footwork, inside boxing. He’s becoming a complete boxer in his world. I’m not saying he’s going to fight Canelo or he’s going to fight a top five boxer, but he looks great, prepared and ready to go.”
Taylor also included some details of the training regimen Paul has been following, instituted by his head trainer BJ Flores.
“BJ likes Jake to spar with the best of the best, he’s bringing in boxers who are undefeated. He’s bringing Jean Pascal, boxers with 20 or 30 fights and he’s telling them: ‘go to work’ and ‘don’t go easy on Jake ’ - that’s how we roll with TeamPaul.
“Jake’s just not fighting MMA fighters and beating them up. He’s fighting real boxers and he’s giving them a hard time. Because a lot of boxers come in here the first day and say: ‘he ain’t no fighter’ and then they spar him and then they say: ‘I didn’t know he was that good’.
“Jake is more focused than anything. He knows Tyron is the toughest opponent to date and he’s locked in focused; he looks amazing, his dieting is on point, his cardio is on point and he’s getting better and polishing his skills. BJ ain’t bringing in no scrubs, he’s bringing in pro fighters. Plus he’s got J’Leon Love here who is always sparring Jake. Love’s a world level athlete and he’s not taking it easy on Jake. He’s going hard and I don’t see Tyron getting this type of work.”
Taylor went further to say that he think Woodley, a stellar college wrestler and—at one point—the top welterweight MMA fighter on the planet, had a mere ‘puncher’s chance’ against Paul in the boxing ring.
“Tyron is a lot more athletic than Askren. But Tyron does not have that experience of boxing, it’s not like he’s taken a year off to box. You’re talking about a guy that’s coming off four or five losses and just practising MMA, you can’t expect him to be a world class boxer in three months. There’s levels to boxing. Jake’s been training for the past two and half years nonstop. He’s a workaholic and this man is putting in the work.
“When you put a guy like Jake in the boxing ring with a guy like Tyron, Jake’s going to win that all day, just because he’s been working on the repetition and the mechanics of boxing. Tyron technically has a punchers chance but Jake is a better boxer. Tyron is a better fighter because of his MMA background, but Jake is a better boxer. There’s a lot of people that think Tyron is going to knock out Jake. But I see it the other way around. He’s looking great.”
“Jake’s a bully, he bullies you,” added Taylor. “He comes forward, very aggressive. He will overwhelm you if he has to. Luckily I’m used to training with guys as tall as he is. Jake is very strong, very quick - surprisingly for a guy who is a YouTuber turned boxer - the guy is a natural athlete. Jake overall is an aggressive guy in the ring.
“He has a great heart, he has a hell of a chin, he has determination and a great team behind him. BJ’s been doing a hell of a job with Jake and you’re going to see a whole new Jake and you’re going to see this kid is for real. Jake does well defensively, remember he’s tall and long, you’re not going to let yourself get hammered; pop your jab, use your distance. Jake did a lot of work with his footwork to get him out of dangerous positions.”
Paul has a multi-fight deal with Showtime. So, win or lose, it’s expected that Paul vs. Woodley won’t be the only Paul brother spectacle we see in the coming years. Paul has expressed his intention to take on other top names from MMA on route to an improbable bout with Canelo Alvarez.
Paul has also discussed fighting former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor. Though, he seems to have fallen out of love with that idea lately.
Taylor said that he thinks Paul vs. McGregor would be a “competitive affair”.
“You got to understand, we’re not dealing with exhibitions, we’re talking about professional boxing matches licensed by the commission with an agreement on the weight class. Jake walks around about 215lbs, Conor walks around at 180lbs, he’d have to go up to 190lbs. I think Jake would drop down to 190lbs for Conor - he’s fighting Tyrone at 190lbs. That fight is tricky because Conor is a lefty but Jake has more body mass, more range. You’re dealing with a guy that’s heavy. It would be competitive.”