The action wasn’t too plentiful too often during the Jake Paul-Tyron Woodley sequel scrap from the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, and on Showtime pay-per-view Saturday evening. Excessive clinching, watching, waiting, deliberation, then more clinching… this cruiserweight presentation wasn’t overly scintillating, five rounds in.
That will be forgotten by many watchers, though, because a right hand from Jake detonated on Woodley in the sixth round and the winless-in-boxing MMAer fell face first to the mat, stiff and not fully conscious. No count needed, instead there was an immediate call for medical personnel to make sure the 39 year old was OK. He was, he left the ring under his own power, groggy but knowing he made a nice check, though I bet he was irked his mom was so chummy with the winner right after her boy needed all the smelling salts.
The 24 year old Paul went 43-170 and Woodley was 43-184 in a largely tedious contest which was redeemed by the finish.
To be fair to Jake, he landed the right in slick fashion, by faking a right to the body–Woodley took the bait, dropped his left hand and that gave Paul the opening.
And, yes, he does have legit power in his right glove, even people who are loathe to see him take up airtime, capital and ring time can admit that.
“I told you, Ariel, I was gonna fuck him up, I told you I was gonna fuck him up…and I fucked him up,” the exuberant dilettante told Ariel Helwani in the ring post-fight.
Then he calmed a bit. “This guy’s a legend, that’s a tough fighter right there,” Jake yelled of the fallen campaigner.
Helwani hinted that the action was sub par when he asked how Jake thought things were going up until the KO. Jake said blood going into his eyes bothered him, and then complimented Woodley some more. He also threw a dart at Tommy Fury, for shits and giggles.
“And Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz y’all are some bitches for leaving this arena because I know you don’t want that shit,” Paul said, referring to UFC fighters in the building, who jetted rather than hear Jake’s triumphant railing.
And he got a slap in on Dana White, too boot.
“This has to be the greatest moment of my life,” he boasted.
“Look at what I just did. Look at the year I just had. Unprecedented. One of the most valuable boxers in this sport. Four fights. Four massive pay-per-views in 13 months. I’ve knocked out every single person that I’ve fought. Every single person that I’ve fought.”
The kid is not a dolt, at all. Masvidal is 37, Diaz is 36, both are shopworn. Yeah, Jake Paul knows the right angles to play at the right times.
Paul led by 3, 2, and 3 points on the cards, for the record.
Paul (4-0 entering; from Ohio) beat Woodley (1-0 entering; ex-UFC welterweight champ from St. Louis) by split decision last time (Aug. 29 in Ohio) and was set to move on, so he booked a fight with Tyson Fury’s little bro Tommy. They hyped the battle and then Tommy bowed out, citing injuries, two weeks before the tango. Woodley quickly came to the table and a sequel was set up.
In the first, Woodley wasn’t busy enough. He’s short, so he isn’t suited to fight at cruiser. Jake threw a bit more, but it was a meh round.
In the second, Jake showed decent mobility. He is a deliberate, he doesn’t waste punches, probably so he can hold on to oxygen a bit better. Woodley again stared more than he fired. He’d wait, Jake would explode on him, and Woodley would throw one, maybe, and they’d clinch.
In the third, Woodley came out firing, then Paul answered with a right. An elbow opened a slice on Jake’s fore-head, and Woodley got bolder.
A Woodley right landed clean, and rather than seek to press the issue, Woodley waited. Too much, but people who know his career say that’s same old story.
In the fourth, the slice stayed closed, so that was nice for Paul. Then, in the last third of the round, the blood came back.
Fatigue by this point became a factor. A judo move by Woodley stood as his best work, he dumped the master content creator to the floor.
In the fifth round, Woodley started as the aggressor. They kept clinching and was there a head butt? Some fans started booing the clinching. I would have too, these two were severely overpaid for the amount of entertainment they provided to this juncture. (NOTE: I wrote this while under the influence of lingering annoyance at dealing with a not-seamless purchasing situation.)
Then, entertainment arrived, with a capital “E”–a right hand sent Woodley to the mat fast and for the duration.
.@jakepaul JUST PUT THE WOOD IN WOODLEY 😳
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) December 19, 2021
Amanda Serrano (41-1-1 with 30 KOs) came in with a bunch of belts, and took on Miriam Gutierrez (14-1 with 5 KOs entering) in the chief support scrap.
It looked like Serrano might mow her down right quick, but Gutierrez made it out of the first and Serrano had to expend energy to get that W.
Gutierrez’ face told you who won, but she wasn’t sullen when the scores (100-90, 99-91, 99-90) were announced by Jimmy Lennon, in favor of Serrano, doing her business at lightweight.
The 33 years old Serrano, out of New York, likes to hop up and down in weight classes, but she’d probably be happy to fight Katie Taylor, if the price is right, at whatever weight.
Gutierrez is a 38 year old native of Spain; this was a matchup of two not-young practitioners, but there’s no aspersion in noting this fact, the fight showed off skill and will, and Gutierrez, especially, came off as someone you found easy to root for.
Miriam’s signature fight prior to this was a clash with Katie Taylor in Nov. 2020, which she lost via UD10.
In the first, the lefty Serrano came out fast, she didn’t look to dissect and get loose. Her head movement allowed her to dodge shots, and then she delivered a boat load herself. The ref yelled at Miriam to answer back, as she got whacked back to the ropes. This was a” message minute,” for the second half of the round Serrano was all guns blazing, looking to score a stop.
In round two, Serrano started fast again, Gutierrez tried to succeed some with counters, particularly the left hook. Then she landed a lead right, showing respectable hand speed. “She’s having her moments here,” analyst Al Bernstein noted, correctly.
Things calmed in round two, because Serrano chilled and settled, and Gutierrez got busier. The pace actually got kind of tepid, the crowd started losing some attention. Then Serrano got that volume back up, but it didn’t jolt the watchers as much, because they figured Gutierrez could weather this sort of storm. The loser ate a straight left, on the chin, and it didn’t make her blink different. She weathered the onslaught, and then tossed some of those hail stones back at the New Yorker.
In round five, Gutierrez kept showing a nice skill set.
She kept the feet moving, her brother/trainer Jero is a good tutor, so Serrano didn’t have an easy time getting a bead on her. Then, did I see her grinning wickedly as she tossed a right hand? Well, she looked like she was having fun. In the sixth, Gutierrez mixed her shots, she’d poke the belly of Serrano, then try a lead right, and she’d seek to land a hook that, to be honest, looked a little slow and weak most of the time.
In the seventh, the Serrano power started to show, as blood leaked from Miriam’s nose. Serrano was clearly now in “let’s get this effer finished” mode. Nope, Serrano didn’t carry the momentum and finish the job on the hard-as-leather woman from Spain in round eight, because Gutierrez didn’t crumble. In the ninth, Serrano stuck and moved, as her trainer Jordan Maldonado advised her to coast some, and save energy for a balls-out surge in the final round.
The surge came, Gutierrez handled it, and gave plenty back as they stood toes to toes and hurled bombs. The bell rang and yep, there was that big grin from Gutierrez.
Bless her, she’s built to do this, mentally and emotionally. Trainer Maldonado went over and told her she’s the bomb, and kissed her on the top of her head.
Stats-wise, Serrano, real close to getting a “this makes it all worth it” bout, went 236-667 to 129-403 for the loser. Remember, the rounds are just two minutes.
Basketball beat football as ex NBAer Deron Williams bested ex NFLer Frank Gore, via split decision.
Their fight juiced the fans, it was sloppy but fun-and-furious sloppy.
“Honestly, I probably looked terrible out there,” said Williams, who reiterated this is a one and done thing for him. “I felt like my last five sparring sessions I was on point. My head wasn’t coming up. As soon as you get out here and you start getting touched, it’s a whole different thing. All your training goes out the window. It was fun. I had a chance to get out here, but like I said coming in, it’s one and done.”
Williams impressed me when he literally threw Gore through the ropes, almost onto the floor in round two of a four rounder.