It's Jake Paul vs Tyron Woodley round 2!
Woodley will be desperate to avenge his loss by decision to Paul in August. If he should fail, that could well spell the end of his time in the ring.
With the sport experiencing somewhat of a renaissance during the pandemic, the second fight between the two will bring a close to what has been an eventful 2021.
Its Paul vs Woodley round 2
YouTube star Jake Paul and former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley are all set for their Showtime pay-per-view rematch on the night of Saturday 18th December. This is of course after the withdrawal of Tommy Fury who was originally supposed to take on Paul. Fury who is the brother of heavyweight champion Tyson Fury is said to have been suffering from sickness as well as bruised ribs. With Woodley now on the card, there is of course the opportunity for him to avenge his loss - by decision - to Paul this past August.
Boxing gets a reboot
While many have criticized the growing trend of celebrities and athletes from other sports taking to the ring, it can't be denied that the sport of boxing in general has enjoyed a renewed interest during the pandemic as a direct result of the new fad. 2021 has seen a number of high quality bouts as well as the emergence of new stars. There has also been a clear effort to unify championships which has further served to generate interest. It is with this context in mind that Saturday night's fight arrives. It is both a chance at score settling for the two fighters involved as well as perhaps a blueprint of things to come for the sport in the new year.
Is it time to take Jake Paul seriously?
After it was announced that Jake Paul would take on Tommy Fury, there was a genuine sense of both gratification and expectation across varying social media platforms. On the one hand critics were finally given what they had been asking for, which is to say a 'real boxer' to stand in front of Paul instead of an athlete or celebrity and on the other, there was the general belief that as a result, Paul would finally be found wanting.
In the end, however, Fury withdrew and Paul yet again set to face a person who is not a boxer by profession. That being said, a rematch with Woodley will still provide a means by which to measure Paul's credentials. Paul was the deserved winner when he first met Woodley though it had been suggested otherwise. It must be said, however, that Woodley did indeed push Paul, almost scoring a knockdown. If Paul is intent on taking his career to the next level, he will have to address the areas of his arsenal that clearly need work, having been pressed by a much smaller man in their first fight. It is exactly the ability to fight and learn that is the mark of real and more over successful fighters today. Should Paul be able to demonstrate that he has in fact progressed, it will go a long way towards establishing a more serious idea of the fighter he is.
Now or never for Tyron Woodley
Having once been champion, Woodley's UFC career came to a disappointing end after four consecutive losses. One of those losses came at the hands of Vicente Luque who forced Woodley into submission just 4 minutes after the fight had started. The fight against Paul is a clear opportunity for Woodley to return to the big stage once again. While it is clear that he can physically compete with Paul, he will obviously need to address things like footwork - which was in need of improvement - and his domination of the middle of the ring.
At almost 40 years of age, this represents perhaps Woodley's last chance at redemption in a sport that does not often offer the chance. Should Woodley fail to beat Paul again, one can imagine that his brand will take a major blow as what would then be two losses to the "Disney Kid" will be added to his last four losses in the UFC octagon.