What’s next for Jake Paul?

Just when it looked like Jake Paul’s boxing project might peter out, it burst back into life in a single, shocking second.

One vicious overhand right was all it took, instantaneously ending a bout that was not remotely close to fulfilling its purpose, and pulling the plug on Tyron Woodley’s consciousness. It likely also pulled the plug on the former UFC champion’s brief boxing venture.

The purpose in question, of course, is that this is supposed to be fun: for Paul and his fans, or for those keenly rooting for the YouTube star to lose in emphatic fashion.

For the best part of six rounds, Paul and Woodley were inseparable, but in the clinch rather than on the scorecards. Despite Woodley’s increased activity compared to that from the Americans’ first clash in August, the 39-year-old failed to land much of note besides two heavy right hands in the third round. The most damage the mixed martial artist did was with an accidental elbow, lacerating Paul’s forehead and partially impeding the 24-year-old’s vision.

Woodley was even warned in the fourth round for throwing his compatriot to the mat, the wrestling specialist’s most ingrained skills poking their way into the contest as he became frustrated by yet another clinch.


After five rounds of boxing, Paul was ahead on all three judges’ scorecards, but he was bloodied and breathing heavily. Perhaps it would be naive to say he was also bored, but those in attendance in Tampa certainly were, as were those watching at home. The fight was failing to serve its purpose.

And then, with a punch so telegraphed that Paul might still be preparing to throw it as you read this, Woodley was flattened.

Jake Paul knocked out Tyron Woodley in the sixth round of their rematch

His hands dropped to his side, he drooped forward, and finally he collapsed face-first on the mat. With one swift shot, the fight’s purpose was fulfilled.

No, it will not have been much fun for the viewers hoping to see Paul fall in the manner that Woodley did, but for the YouTuber and his fans this was transcendence to content Nirvana. Chop it up how you like – one minute, 30 seconds, 10 seconds, five, three – it is viral violence and will sustain Paul’s professional boxing career, in which his record now stands at 5-0, with knockouts of each man he has faced.

These pages previewed the fight with reference to the arc involved in picking Paul’s opponents; first it was a fellow YouTuber, then an ex-NBA star, followed by a former MMA champion with almost non-existent striking skills and a repaired hip. The arc led to Woodley, an elite wrestler with a powerful right hand but an athlete of relatively-advanced age and dramatically out of form. Paul beat Woodley via split decision in August then settled the rivalry at the weekend.

So, who’s next?

Well, Woodley would have been spared his embarrassment on Saturday night had Tommy Fury – Paul’s planned opponent – not withdrawn from the originally scheduled main event with a broken rib and chest infection.

Woodley stepped up while Fury, half-brother of heavyweight boxing champion Tyson, pleaded his case to fight Paul in the new year. The former Love Island contestant is 7-0 as a professional boxer, though the records of his opponents make Paul’s foes look like Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.

In fact, Canelo was among those called out by Paul after his most recent victory over Woodley, as were UFC stars Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal – both of whom attended Saturday’s event. The latter has said he would only face Paul in an MMA contest (perhaps capitalising on the Ohio native’s claim that he will “100 per cent” try out the sport one day), Diaz seems set on a bout with Dustin Poirier, and Canelo has not yet responded to the YouTuber.

Tommy Fury in training

A clash with boxing’s pound-for-pound king Canelo seems fanciful, but Paul’s older brother Logan boxed Floyd Mayweather in an exhibition bout this June, so – sincerely – do not discount the possibility of Paul taking on the Mexican in the future.

Such a contest would admittedly be even more carnivalesque than any of Paul’s fights so far, and it is extremely unlikely to mark the internet sensation’s next outing, which instead looks like it could be a delayed encounter with Fury – the reality TV star, not the heavyweight champion, to be clear.

That said, if Paul beats Tommy Fury, a fight against Tyson – the heavyweight champion, not ex-heavyweight champion Mike, to be clear – would not appear much more fanciful than a meeting with the ‘Gypsy King’s 22-year-old sibling. (On that side note, Logan Paul has even been rumoured to face Mike Tyson). In any case, Jake Paul has been competing at cruiserweight, so the weight difference to Tyson Fury might actually end up being one of surprisingly few barriers between common sense and the bout transpiring one day.

But this is to get ahead of oneself, even if Paul is already thinking in these terms.

Paul has said he will not give Tommy Fury another chance at a money fight with him, but those words (ironically) shouldn’t be taken more seriously than the 24-year-old’s intentions of facing Canelo.


Tommy Fury seemed a sensible opponent for Paul this month, and he appears an even better fit now that the YouTuber has taken another step forward on his boxing journey.

The options are plentiful as things stand. Should Paul beat Fury, they might just be endless.

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