Tyron Woodley‘s professional boxing debut didn’t go much better than his last four fights in the UFC as he slumped to a split-decision loss to YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul in the latter’s hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.
Woodley, who was criticized for lacking intent and desire during the final part of his UFC tenure, saw the same problems pop up against Paul. Although he rocked ‘The Problem Child’ with a patented overhand right in the fourth round and had the advantage in conditioning during the latter stages of the fight, he simply didn’t produce enough output for the judges to give him the nod.
Woodley insisted that he had done enough to clinch the win in the post-fight interview and talked up the possibility of a rematch. The former UFC welterweight champion could also have a few other choices to dance with in the boxing ring.
Here are three potential next opponents for Tyron Woodley after his loss to Jake Paul.
#3 Tyron Woodley vs Oscar De La Hoya
Oscar De La Hoya has been in the headlines ahead of his boxing comeback this year.
‘The Golden Boy’ takes on former UFC fighter Vitor Belfort on September 11 in a Triller Fight Club bout that has been sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission. After his bout against Belfort, De La Hoya could turn his attention to another former UFC fighter in Tyron Woodley.
Post his loss to Jake Paul, Woodley’s friend and longtime training partner Ben Askren insisted that ‘The Chosen One’ wanted to fight De La Hoya. ‘Funky’ sowed the seeds for the Paul vs Woodley fight, and his words could come true once again.
“I would love Tyron to whip him up. Tyron wants to fight Oscar De La Hoya but I’d love for Tyron to fight Jake Paul. he is a significantly better boxer than I am so that would be my guy,” said Askren.
Others, like Chael Sonnen, have also weighed in on the situation. When potential opponents for De La Hoya’s comeback were being mentioned, Sonnen threw Woodley’s hat in the ring. While that doesn’t seem to have materialized, a meeting down the line cannot be ruled out.
#2 Tyron Woodley vs J’Leon Love
Tyron Woodley and Jake Paul’s boxing trainer J’Leon Love have crossed swords on a couple of occasions already.
Woodley was first in Paul’s dressing room during the latter’s fight against Askren in April and he was seen in a heated confrontation with Love, who had also antagonized the former UFC champ at a party in February. Things also came to a head when Paul and Love decided to prank call Woodley in the lead-up to the Askren fight.
Woodley recently revealed that Love had declined an offer to face off in an MMA bout. Love holds a professional boxing record of 24-3-1-1, and the boxing ring might be the place the two fighters finally get to settle their differences.
#1 Tyron Woodley vs Jake Paul 2
Tyron Woodley firmly believes he did enough to win the fight against Jake Paul, as do a few other eminent personalities like Claressa Shields. He is of the opinion that a rematch against the 24-year-old will help him prove why he is a better boxer.
Paul stated that he would be willing to indulge in a rematch if Woodley gets the “I love Jake Paul” tattoo, which was part of a wager for the fight. Whether this is legitimate or just another smart bit of promotion remains to be seen, but it isn’t unrealistic to imagine the duo trading leather once again.
Despite the differences in size, age and other attributes, Paul and Woodley were surprisingly well-matched. Neither fighter outclassed the other, with Paul’s consistent pressure complemented by Woodley’s occasional displays of freak power.
While Woodley will want to prove that he deserved the win, Paul will have an eye on improving technically and physically before moving on to more challenging opponents. And given the commercial success of Showtime’s main event, there’s no reason why it can’t happen again.
Jake Paul might just prove to be Woodley’s next boxing opponent.
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