Former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley admits he may have given up a few rounds against Jake Paul, but he is adamant that he should have been declared the winner of their eight-round boxing match in Cleveland on Sunday.
Woodley again called for a rematch with Paul after losing a split decision, saying he would meet the YouTube star-turned-boxer’s demand and get an “I love Jake Paul” tattoo.
“I feel like I won that fight,” Woodley told reporters at the post-fight press conference for the Showtime pay-per-view event. “I feel like I landed the power shots. I feel like even when he landed a shot, I fucking wiped it and came back and cracked him. I was in his face, I was in his sh*t, pause, and his back was against the ropes the whole time I walked him down.
“I could have been more assertive. I was patient. I saw my shots, but I didn’t want to be grumpy with that overhand right. He may have landed it a few times, but I know he missed a lot.”
According to Compubox stats released after the fight (via BoxingScene), Paul also made a higher percentage of shots than Woodley, coming out on top in total punches, total punches, and power punches. In a fight with a fairly low total blow count, Paul was the most active fighter in all but the fourth round, which Woodley won decisively.
Woodley, however, said he was never in danger – it was Paul who nearly finished with a right hand.
“I felt like I had him,” he said. “One time I almost knocked him through the rope. I really wasn’t fucking with that rope. We came this morning for a test drive; if you’re not 7-7, sh*t, you can be held up by it. So I hit him, and he bent down in the ropes, and I was going to try and punch him through that bastard.
“Look at my face,” he added later. ‘Do I look like I’ve felt someone’s strength? I got hit by a gunshot, but this is boxing. I don’t have a cut on my face. I look as beautiful when I went in as when I came out. I never touched the canvas. He was the only one who was close to the canvas.”
Woodley explained that his reluctance to be more aggressive stemmed from his previous fight, a submission loss to Vicente Luque in his last UFC fight.
“My last fight, I had a guy on the ropes and I fucking went against him and I went crazy and I got caught sneaking a punch, so I tried to be a little bit smarter,” he said.
As it turned out, that wasn’t enough to win the battle. But Woodley was convinced he would get another shot at Paul.
“It’s done,” he said. “We’re doing the rematch. I have to take that win. It was too close. This was a movie. No one will push it like he and I did. We sold it.”
Woodley hopes next time he won’t miss a chance to take advantage of the moment when Paul excels. Late in the fight, the YouTuber seemed to fade.
“He was fatigued in the fight and he found a way to push through and he came through strong so I can never beat him for that,” Woodley said. “But we have to turn it back.”