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Tyron Woodley is already talking multiple fights against Jake Paul, who says not so fast

Amanda Serrano, Jake Paul, Tyron Woodley and Yamileth Mercado stand on the podium at The Novo after their news conference.
Amanda Serrano, Jake Paul, Tyron Woodley and Yamileth Mercado stand on the podium at The Novo after their news conference Tuesday.
(Ethan Sands / Los Angeles Times)

Confidence oozed from Tyron Woodley as he shared a stage with Jake Paul on Tuesday afternoon to announce their Aug. 29 cruiserweight fight in Cleveland.

“I saw a man who doesn’t really have fight left in him,” Paul said, beating the MMA fighter to the punch. “I saw a man who’s been defeated multiple times now and will be finished and sent into retirement by a Youtube Disney star boxer.”

“Keyword, you saw a man, something you’re not,” Woodley counterpunched. “You’re a problem child.”

Tuesday afternoon’s news conference, held at The Novo in downtown L.A., brought the expected verbal fireworks between Woodley, who will be making his boxing debut, and Paul, who will be fighting for the fourth time.

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The Floyd Mayweather-Logan Paul exhibition fight is the event movies are made of. Boxing fans are fortunate that there are other forms of entertainment.

But there was reflection, too, from the 39-year-old Woodley, who told the story of an upbringing in Ferguson, Mo., where he went from broke and evicted to MMA stardom and a lavish life that provided his children with an upbringing that he didn’t get to experience.

“My son’s a 4.0 [GPA] student getting recruited by Yale, Division I prospect [in football],” Woodley said. “My daughter’s a phenomenal artist; she’s T-Pain Jr. She will blow your mind at 6 years old on autotune. My son’s a select soccer player.

“They not in a situation I grew up in, but I grew up in a situation of love, support. They grew up in a situation where they didn’t have to want for anything, and they still got their humility, and they’re still appreciative. So, they my biggest flex.”

Woodley needed a new journey, he said, a new career. Boxing offered him something that UFC, where he had a 19-7-1 record, no longer did.

“This is fun for me,” he said. “MMA wasn’t fun for me for the last five years. . . I weigh 190 [pounds], are you kidding me? I’ve been killing myself to make [weight at] 170 for all these years. So now, I’m gonna go out there refreshed, renewed and ready to turn up.”

Multiple times throughout the news conference, he said that win or lose, he plans to be in boxing for a while (his opponent will have some thoughts on the subject later). He’s received training from Floyd Mayweather, who adjusted Woodley’s mindset and tweaked his stances to better prepare him for the fight. Mayweather, of course, knows the Paul brand well, having fought Jake’s fellow YouTubing brother Logan in Miami in June.

Gilbert Burns wins a unanimous decision against ex-UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley in an event held without fans at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

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When not verbally sparring with Woodley, Jake Paul advocated for fighters to be fairly compensated, championed women’s boxing and the funding of Puerto Rican boxers so that they might attend tournaments.

He took special aim at his opponent’s old employer.

“Goldman Sachs just came out with a study that UFC fighters get 10% of their earnings that the whole UFC gets,” Paul said. “Other leagues like the NBA, the NFL, they get 50%. Fighters are putting their life on the line.

“Fighters deserve more, and look, a lot of people are scared of Dana White, I don’t give a s—. Something needs to change. The fighters are the content, the fighters are the ones that are making the show, and I think the fighters just deserve more.”

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Woodley and Paul won’t be the only competitors fighting it out on Aug. 29. Two premier women boxers will also take center stage in Cleveland, where WBO featherweight world champion Amanda Serrano will take on Yamileth Mercado, the WBC female super bantamweight title.

Serrano is Puerto Rican, and Mercado Mexican. Their fight might be the undercard, but Mexico vs. Puerto Rico, Serrano said, guarantees a night of fireworks.

“It’s gonna be a war,” Mercado added. “The ladies are gonna take the show that night.”

Paul touched on his relationship with Serrano, mentioning her presence at his first pro fight, and their shared love of Puerto Rico, where Paul has been training for the Woodley fight, occasionally with Serrano. He hopes to help give Serrano one of the biggest paydays of her life.

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As for the Paul-Woodley payday, the four-time UFC welterweight champ sees next month’s fight as just the start of a lucrative, longer rivalry.

“I fight him [Paul], probably a couple times,” Woodley declared. “Because he’ll be walking around with ‘I love Tyron Woodley’ tattooed on his body. So, might as well try to get it back, try to get a chance to redeem yourself. .”

Paul sees the future a little differently.

“I’m not going to fight Woodley after I beat him,” he said. “There’s no point, you know. I’m gonna finish him violently, so there won’t be a fight two.”


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