After the fight: The lasting impact of Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley


Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley didn’t live up to the pre-fight excitement, but it will impact boxing, MMA, and the combat sports business.

Don’t let the title of this article rub you the wrong way. Although the bout between Jake Paul and Tyron Woodley was a dud, it will leave a lasting impact on boxing and combat sports in general.

Many people don’t like Paul and dismiss him as a fake, wannabe boxer. That assessment is unfair and an overstatement. Paul’s antagonistic and brash social media behavior makes him a lightning rod for criticism, much of which is fair.

However, he is athletic, has punching power, and has put in a lot of time and effort to improve his boxing skills. He’s far from an elite boxer, but he beat former UFC welterweight Woodley in a boxing bout, which should count for something.

But there’s a limit to any accolades Paul might receive for that feat.

Paul’s entire boxing career shows how difficult the sport is. You can’t just pick it up and find success. Paul is making a lot of money, but look at who he has fought. He still hasn’t stepped in the ring with a legitimate boxer.

I’m not saying that Paul can’t become a successful, serious boxer, but it takes time and hard work. If he fought an eight-round contest with any boxer rated in the top 50, we probably would stop talking about Paul’s boxing career. Paul has invested three years into boxing, and his opponents have a combined boxing record of 0-4. That’s a bad résumé.

So what does Paul offer boxing?

Like it or not, Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley will have a lasting impact on boxing, and it’s not necessarily a bad one

The simple answer, attention.

It’s a proven formula that social media influencers help brand marketing. Love him or hate him, Paul brings attention to any boxing event he’s a part of. That’s the job of an influencer, and boxing is utilizing them.

There’s the old saying that all press is good press. Floyd Mayweather Jr. lived by that motto and capitalized on it financially. Mayweather used a combination of boxing skills, bravado, pomp, and rhetoric to build his audience. It worked like a charm.

Paul is trying to get the skills, but he has the other tools. People will watch him fight whether they’re fans or haters. Even after an uneventful fight like Paul vs. Woodley, people will still pay to watch Paul fight.

Mayweather vs. Pacquiao wasn’t aesthetically pleasing, but people still shelled out top dollar to see Mayweather fight Conor McGregor and Logan Paul years after the Pacquiao fight. He’s a fascinating person who’s popular and knows how to market himself. Paul is following his playbook, but just without the fighting talent.

Paul vs. Woodley was the number one trending topic on Google and Twitter on Aug. 29. Even if people didn’t buy the fight, they were reading about it or talking about it. That’s free advertising. That’s the allure of social media and its payoff.

Fighters on the card were also trending by association. People talked about Montana Love, Daniel Dubois, and Amanda Serrano, who might not have known who they were before that night. They all put in strong performances that impressed new purveyors of boxing.

It’s likely that a sizeable amount of Gen Z’ers tunned into a boxing match for the first time and probably saw something they liked from the previously named boxers that they didn’t get from Paul or Woodley. That’s a win on its own.

Yes, any fight involving Paul or any other YouTuber or social media star will be a bit of a sideshow, but the inclusion of top-level boxers offers legitimacy to the event, and the two can help each other. It doesn’t cheapen the product but shines a spotlight on it.

Paul vs. Woodley showed that no matter how athletic or tough you are, the only way to succeed in boxing is through time, hard work, with a mix of talent. Paul and Woodley have talent, but they lack the other criteria to be great boxers, and that’s okay.

Boxing is a discipline that can take a lifetime to master. The best MMA fighter can’t walk into a boxing ring and be an elite-level boxer. The opposite is also true. Boxing and MMA are two separate sports with distinct skill sets requiring respect and intense learning. Paul and Woodley showed that in comparison to the seasoned boxers on their fight card.

There are several positive takeaways from Paul vs. Woodley. You just have to look at it with the right pair of eyes.

Next. 3 things we learned from watching Paul vs. Woodley. dark