Woodley walked Paul down for the duration of the fight, but despite leading the dance, threw remarkably little offense. Paul was active off his back foot, landing far more frequently than his rival. Woodley landed the biggest punch, staggering Paul with a fourth-round left hook—but other than that, he gave the judges almost nothing to work with.
By the end of round 8, it seemed certain that Paul would win by decision. While judge Phil Rogers scoring the fight for Woodley was a definite shock, logic ultimately prevailed as judges Jaime Garayua and Dana DePaolo both scored it for Paul.
With this win, Paul is now 4-0 as a professional boxer. He previously beat fellow YouTuber AnEsonGib, former NBA star Nate Robinson, and former Bellator and ONE Championship welterweight titleholder Ben Askren—all by knockout, all before the third round. He certainly looked raw in his battle with Woodley—particularly once he fatigued a bit in the later rounds—but Paul’s unlikely boxing career is still very much alive.
Paul admitted that he’ll likely take some time off to recharge in his post-fight interview with commentator Ariel Helwani. When he’s ready to return, he will certainly have plenty of options in terms of opponents.
“We’ll see,” Paul said when asked who he’d like to fight next. “I’ve been boxing for 18 months now. I haven’t been to the dentist. I’ve barely gotten my hair cut in the past two years. My teeth are crooked, my nose is crooked. I’ve dedicated the past 18 months to this. I haven’t stopped.
“I think I might need to chill out for a second and figure out who I am. I’m only 24. I’m changing, I’m growing, I’m learning a lot. I’m going through ups and downs. I’m making mistakes but I’m keeping my head on straight. I’ll get back in the gym when I’m ready and we’ll see.”
The most likely option for Paul’s next fight might be British reality television star Tommy Fury, half-brother of heavyweight champ Tyson Fury. The younger Fury picked up a decision win over MMA fighter Anthony Taylor in the pay-per-view opener. Fury and Paul have also been feuding for some time and had a heated run-in backstage moments after Sunday’s card concluded, adding more sizzle to their beef.
Paul has recently called for bouts against MMA stars such as Nate Diaz, Jorge Masvidal and Kamaru Usman. Any of those fighters would likely jump at the kind of payday fighting the social media sensation produces.
Another option for Paul is a rematch with Woodley, who called for an immediate do-over in his post-fight interview with Helwani. Paul promptly agreed—provided Woodley honors the pair’s pre-fight bet and gets an “I love Jake Paul” tattoo.
Given the variety of choices Paul now has at his disposal, a rematch feels like a bit of a long shot, but Woodley is confident it will happen.
“No, it’s done,” Woodley said at the post-fight press conference. “We’re doing the rematch.”
Whatever the case, Woodley doesn’t seem ready to hang up the gloves. If the 39-year-old does fight again—whether in boxing or MMA—he’ll be desperate for a win.
Once known as one of the UFC’s most formidable champions, he lost his last four MMA bouts: a pair of decision setbacks against Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns, a TKO loss to Colby Covington, and a submission defeat at the hands of Vicente Luque.
A win over Paul could have helped erase the memory of those losses, but it didn’t go his way.