Jake Paul looks to continue building his career as a professional boxer on Sunday when he takes on former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley in Cleveland. Paul, a social media superstar, will be trying to run his record to 4-0 against Woodley, who is making his professional boxing debut.
The fight is expected to be the biggest challenge of Paul's career after he picked up wins over a fellow social media influencer, a former NBA star and one of Woodley's friends, former UFC fighter Ben Askren. While Paul made light work of Askren, Woodley is a far more dangerous striker who picked up some highlight-reel knockouts in his accomplished UFC career.
Woodley stopped Robbie Lawler with authority in 2016 to claim the 170-pound title before making four straight defenses of the belt against tough competition. But it was the rough end to his run with the promotion that led to this opportunity. Woodley lost his final four bouts in UFC, looking extremely passive in three before going for broke in his final appearance in March and getting stopped in the first round. Now, at 39, Woodley looks to begin anew with the chance to shock many in the process.
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"He hasn't shown me anything yet. Real recognize real. I don't worry about what anyone on the outside is saying. I'm worried about bringing that action," Woodley said at the final press conference. "I'm going crazy on Sunday. At the end of the day, it's been a long time coming. I'm thankful for my team that's supported me but I'm also thankful for everyone who counted me out. When everyone comes against you, it shows how powerful what you're about to do is."
This card also features some fun undercard bouts, including Amanda Serrano looking to defend her trio of titles against Yamileth Mercado at women's featherweight. Serrano will be looking to tie the all-time record for knockouts by a woman, held by Christy Martin at 31.
"These belts are my babies. It's going to be very hard for her to beat me and take these back to Mexico. She's going home empty-handed. I thank Mercado for taking the fight, but she's not winning," Serrano said. "I train and fight to be the best in the world. I hope that people can acknowledge that the women are champions as well and that we work as hard as the men. I'm showing everyone that women's boxing is great too."
Plus, heavyweight Daniel Dubois makes his U.S. debut against Joe Cusumano, and the half-brother of heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, Tommy Fury, makes his U.S. PPV debut when he takes on Anthony Taylor. Fury, a star of British reality TV, could be a future opponent for Paul if both continue to pick up wins.
But first, Fury needs to get past Taylor, who is one of Paul's training partners.
"If Taylor thinks I've overlooked him, he's dead wrong. I've been grueling for eight weeks like I'm fighting for the world titles. Sunday night, I'll get the job done, and then I can think about what could be next for me," Fury said at the final press conference.
"Anthony Taylor can't get off his phone and stop doing autographs. I haven't been on my phone in five weeks. I've been living and training like a demon. I don't care about fame, and I don't care about money. All I want is to be a world champion."
Below is the complete fight card for Sunday night with odds via Caesars Sportsbook.
You can follow along with every moment of the action on Sunday night from Cleveland, Ohio, with our live blog that will provide play-by-play commentary for each fight, round-by-round scoring and much, much more.
Fight card, odds
- Jake Paul -210 vs. Tyron Woodley +175, 190-pound catchweight (eight rounds)
- Amanda Serrano (c) -3000 vs. Yamileth Mercado +1300, unified women's featherweight titles
- Daniel Dubois -3500 vs. Joe Cusumano +1400, heavyweight (10 rounds)
- Ivan Baranchyk -190 vs. Montana Love +160, welterweight (10 rounds)
- Tommy Fury -1500 vs. Anthony Taylor +850, cruiserweight (four rounds)
- Date: Aug. 29 | Start time: 8 p.m. ET (main card)
- Location: Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse -- Cleveland, Ohio
- TV: Showtime PPV on all traditional cable and satellite providers | Live stream: Showtime.com or the Showtime App | Price: $59.99
Paul vs. Woodley predictions
Brian Campbell: Woodley represents the toughest challenge of Paul's brief pro career by a wide margin, meaning this remains a fight that either could win by knockout, seemingly at any time. Given that unpredictability, many of the advantages Woodley could bring as a boxer might not come into play should Paul succeed at making it a war from the jump. Expect Paul to truly get tested here and possibly end up needing to rise off the canvas for the first time. Yet it's a brief shootout that could be the perfect outcome to make the most of Paul's strength in a potentially dangerous fight. Paul, who is 15 years younger than Woodley, will use his four-inch height and natural weight advantages to win a thriller. Pick: Paul via TKO3
Brent Brookhouse: Size is not getting enough attention in the lead-up to this fight. Paul has massive physical advantages in addition to having spent far more time purely dedicated to boxing than Woodley, who has certainly trained striking longer, but in a context of having to worry about kicks, takedowns and submissions. MMA striking is not boxing and that does matter. Woodley has power but even so, it's been more than five years since he scored a knockout in MMA, facing smaller opponents and wearing smaller gloves. In his last UFC bout, Woodley managed to show some life offensively, trying to bring the fight to Vicente Luque before he was taken out and finished in the first round. If Woodley doesn't bring that same level of forward pressure against Paul and instead reverts to his worst fighting instincts of passively moving backward trying to time a single overhand right, this fight is not going to be the test most think it will be. Woodley is older, smaller and was chosen as Paul's opponent for a very clear reason. Pick: Paul via KO2
Who wins Paul vs. Woodley? And what prop should you back for a huge return? Visit SportsLine now to see Brandon Wise's best bets for Sunday, all from the CBS combat sports specialist who was all over Jamel Herring's win, and find out.