Jake Paul’s fourth professional boxing match will mark a homecoming for the polarizing social media star.
Showtime Sports announced Monday afternoon that Paul’s eight-round main event versus former UFC welterweight champ Tyron Woodley will take place at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland on August 29. Their cruiserweight fight, which will be contested at a catch weight of 190 pounds, will headline a four-fight Showtime Pay-Per-View event from the home arena of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers.
Paul, 24, was born in Cleveland and grew up in Westlake, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland.
“I grew up going to Cavs, Browns and Indians games on weekends, dreaming as a little kid of one day being in a position to put on a show for my hometown like they did,” Paul said. “On August 29, that dream comes true. My biggest challenge to date, in front of the city that made me, on pay-per-view for the world to see me knock out a UFC champion.”
Showtime also announced one of the televised undercard fights that’ll be part of the Paul-Woodley show – Amanda Serrano versus Yamileth Mercado. Brooklyn’s Serrano (40-1-1, 30 KOs), who has won world titles in seven divisions, will defend her WBC and WBO featherweight titles against Mexico’s Mercado (18-2, 5 KOs) in a 10-rounder.
Mercado, the WBC super bantamweight champion, will move up from 122 pounds to the 126-pound limit to challenge Serrano, one of the top women’s boxers, pound-for-pound, in the sport.
“I’m also thrilled to have Amanda Serrano on this card,” said Paul, whose company, Most Valuable Promotions, will co-produce its first live sporting event. “She stands out as the most prolific KO artist in women’s boxing. What a night this is going to be!”
The Paul-Woodley show will be promoted at a press conference Tuesday in Los Angeles. Another press conference to promote Paul’s debut with Showtime is scheduled for Thursday in Cleveland.
The 39-year-old Woodley has lost each of his last four mixed martial arts matches, but he is considered a step up in competition for the inexperienced Paul. A bigger, stronger, younger Paul knocked out one of Woodley’s close friends, UFC veteran Ben Askren, in the first round of his most recent bout, April 17 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Woodley, a Ferguson, Missouri, native, will make his pro boxing debut. He is 19-7-1, including seven knockouts, during an MMA career he launched in 2009.
New Jersey’s Vicente Luque made Woodley submit in the first round of Woodley’s most recent MMA match, which was part of UFC 260 on March 27 at UFC Apex in Enterprise, Nevada. His losing streak notwithstanding, Woodley is commonly considered one of the hardest punchers in UFC history.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.