Tyron Woodley says Jake Paul’s pride will be the reason he gets knocked out in rematch

Tyron Woodley is getting a second chance he hoped for, but didn’t anticipate, when he faces Jake Paul on Saturday in a rematch of their August showdown that Paul won by a close split decision. Woodley intervened on short notice when Paul’s original opponent, Tommy Fury, withdrew with a rib injury.

The former UFC welterweight champion was the first to push Paul beyond two rounds in his brief boxing career and had the social media expert on the ropes during their first encounter, but Paul escaped with a victory. The rematch has a slogan “Leave No Doubt”, and Woodley believes that Paul’s pride will be his undoing on Saturday in Tampa.

“My career is about shutting people up,” Paul said at Thursday’s press conference. Those words rang inside Woodley’s head and showed a crack in the undefeated 24-year-old’s facade that he plans to make the most of.

“He was honored that he really lost (the first fight),” Woodley told a group of reporters after the news conference. “He’s fighting this fight out of pride because he cares so much about what people think. I give zero. I’ve been searching and searching and I haven’t found shit to give about what people think. Me.

“He cares what people think of him. I know he cares too much and his pride will get him in trouble on Saturday.”

Despite the challenge Woodley presented, Paul aims to silence naysayers in the rematch. Although he won and could have left Woodley behind, he opted for a rematch. Unlike the first fight, this fight lacks the animosity shown in their opening encounter. Woodley wouldn’t go so far as to suggest that he respected Paul as an individual or as a fighter, but clearly he doesn’t feel the same way he did in August.

“I don’t hate it,” Woodley said. “I have no feelings for him. I don’t dislike him. I’m indifferent but I hate that he thinks he can beat me and I hate that he can walk around and say he did.”

Many were surprised by Woodley’s ability to transition from mixed martial artist to boxer when he and Paul first met. The fight was a tenuous nip and tuck affair in which Woodley was responsible on defense and prevented his opponent from getting his fourth straight knockout. He stunned Paul in the fourth round with his right hand, the biggest punch landing in the fight, but he couldn’t finish the job.

You will have that opportunity again on Saturday.

“I’m going for a knockout, and if I go for the knockout for eight rounds in a row, inevitably I should win, and that’s what I want,” he said. “But my experience tells me not to go out of my way to go for the knockout because that’s the way you usually drain your energy and get hit with something you shouldn’t hit.”

He’s focused on the job at hand and doesn’t mind talking about the prospect of a trilogy fight or future boxing opportunities. All that matters is that he gets a second chance when he wasn’t supposed to because someone’s pride got the better of him.

And for that, Jake Paul must pay.

“The only thing I can focus on is Saturday night. He thinks he can beat me and I’m going to hit his ass.”