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Jake Paul vs Tyron Woodley - Five reasons you can't miss it on BT Sport Box Office HD
Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore the YouTube superstar shaking up the combat sports world. Watch Jake Paul take on Tyron Woodley exclusively live on BT Sport Box Office HD this weekend.
One of the most polarising figures in the fight game returns to action this weekend as Jake Paul, aka The Problem Child, faces a formidable foe in ex-UFC world champion Tyron Woodley.
Since making his professional boxing debut back in 2019, Paul has become one of the most talked-about fighters on the planet despite just three appearances in the squared circle.
A trio of statement knockouts – albeit against obviously limited opposition – suggest there is talent beneath the bravado and in facing a former world champion of the UFC, Paul is prepared to risk it all to prove he is the real deal.
Here are five reasons you won’t want to miss the show as it goes down on BT Sport Box Office HD this weekend.
Who is the real Jake Paul?
Is Jake Paul a fighter?
Or is he simply a master self-promoter manipulating the fight game to continue building his brand?
These are the questions that have rankled and rebounded around the boxing community ever since Paul laced his gloves in January last year.
I think it's going to be a very short night for Tyron
- Jake Paul
Fans on either side of that debate have found little in the way of common ground over the past 18 months but there is one fact that all can agree on in the build-up to this fight; we will know more about Jake Paul the boxer by Monday morning than after any of his previous fights.
Raised on a diet of clicks, likes, shares and retweets, former Disney star Paul knows exactly how to play the game in terms of building a fight but there is a feeling in some quarters – not least of all at Team Woodley HQ – that the 23-year-old’s mouth has been writing cheques his body can’t cash.
"Honestly after this camp, I said three [rounds] and now I'm thinking, max two," came his victory prediction in a recent interview.
"But to be honest, something in my heart tells me that it's going to be another one round fight.
"As crazy as that sounds. I think it's going to be a very short night for Tyron."
Will Paul back his words up with the most credible win of his career yet?
All or nothing for Woodley
Once one of the most dominant champions in UFC history, things have unravelled pretty quickly for Tyron Woodley over the past few years.
Four consecutive losses saw him exit the promotion a shadow of his former self – but a look at his recent ledger on paper only tells half the story.
His downfall began with a loss to Kamaru Usman, now regarded as a future Hall of Famer and all-time great in the making, in March 2019.
It continued against Gilbert Burns – another dominant welterweight who has lost only once in the last three years, and that came against Usman for the belt – almost a year later.
A third loss, this time against Colby Covington, followed in September 2020 before March’s loss against another top contender in Vicente Luque ended his UFC tenure.
The 39-year-old will have been disappointed at the manner in which his legacy crumbled over the past few years but nobody can look at his recent record claim he took an easy fight.
But while Woodley remains proud of what he has achieved in the sport of MMA, there is a piece of the Missouri man that feels shaded by the position he finds himself in; sharing the billing with a YouTube star in a fight regarded as a 50/50 toss-up.
Despite his recent setbacks, Woodley’s drive to compete and his will to win remain rock solid and “The Chosen One” believes he will show he belongs levels above his opponent this coming weekend.
“This was my lifestyle before it became a sport, before it became a career. This was a bucket list thing he [Paul] wanted to try, his following allowed him to do so. But this is in my DNA, it’s all I’ve been doing since I was a kid,” Woodley told Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour podcast.
“I’m here to f***ing takeover. You’re gonna see Jake Paul get hurt in a way you’d never imagine. He may not want to do this again after this.”
Take off for TNT Tommy
Tommy "TNT" Fury will be all business this week as he seeks to uphold his half of the bargain in securing a win against Anthony Taylor on Sunday night that would pave the way for a long-awaited showdown against Jake Paul.
Since the pair began trading barbs more than a year ago, a meeting between the two stars has looked inevitable.
And while they hail from different worlds, there are many similarities to be drawn between the fighter-turned-reality-star Fury and reality-star-turned-fighter Paul.
Both men follow in the footsteps of successful older siblings, both have become household names for their escapades outside of the ring and both remain in the infancy of their fighting careers.
Former Love Island star Fury should be used to the limelight by now but his upcoming US debut this weekend will arguably provide the 22-year-old the biggest platform of his career to date.
Undefeated in six fights with four stoppages to his name, Fury will want to capitalise on the exposure of such a high-profile card and produce a fifth career kayo against former 7-5 MMA competitor Anthony “Pretty Boy” Taylor.
Defeat would all but end any chance of Fury finally settling scores with Paul, so expect the Manchester man to be on top form on Sunday night.
Dynamite Dan looking to make a splash in the US
Another British fighter looking to make the most of his US debut is Daniel Dubois.
Fresh from his bounceback victory against Bogdan Dinu for the WBA interim heavyweight title in June earlier this year, Dubois will want to put on a show for a brand new audience across the pond as he seeks to restore his reputation as the future of British heavyweight boxing.
Now under the tutelage of Shane McGuigan after an amicable split with long-time cornerman Martin Bowers, Dubois will be keen to show signs of his progression since joing the south London gym.
He won’t have to go far to find Joe Cusumano when the first bell sounds on Saturday night with his heavy-handed 19-3 rival seeking to claim the 18th KO of his pro career.
Will Dubois fight fire with fire and produce another viral knockout to remember – or will we see a more considered performance from a maturing young athlete?
Serrano the showstopper
Say what you like about the main event this weekend but there can be no arguments about the legitimacy of the co-main attraction as Amanda Serrano puts her WBC and WBO featherweight titles on the line against Yamileth Mercado.
Already one of the most decorated female boxers of all time, Serrano continues to embellish her legacy as one of the finest operators around having won world titles across an incredible seven weight divisions.
Now the Puerto Rican superstar has her sights set on another record as she continues to chase down Christy Martin’s record of 32 knockout victories to become the most destructive female fighter of all time.
"I like to fight forward and put pressure. My heart as a Puerto Rican warrior wants to end the fights early so that the message is more forceful," Serrano said.
"I never imagined being close to Christy Martin in knockout victories. It was something I did not have in mind and now, with God in front of me, I will work very hard to put Puerto Rico back in the Guinness Book when I reach victory number 33. by knockout. I believe that by 2022 we will achieve it. "
My heart as a Puerto Rican warrior wants to end the fights early
- Amanda Serrano
The next 12 months could be the biggest of Serrano’s life too as she goes in search of a potential superfight with Ireland’s Katie Taylor.
Earlier this year, Serrano’s promoter Lou DiBella told Sky Sports: "I think the fight will happen in 2022 as a unification between two undisputed world champions.
"Hopefully Katie does not lose in the interim. I don't think she will.
"Amanda wants to unify the belts at 126lbs. She will be moving up two weight classes [to fight Taylor]. She is a featherweight, really. She has only moved up before to chase legacy and increase opportunities.
"Then, when the world is open and the fight can take place at Madison Square Garden in front of thousands of Irish and Puerto Rican fans, the fight will happen.”
There can be no slip-ups if dreams of making that vision a reality are to happen with 18-2 Mercado hoping to spoil the party on Sunday night.