Former UFC world champion Tyron Woodley will not allow himself to overlook the abilities of Youtube star Jake Paul.
Woodley will make his professional boxing debut against Paul (3-0, 3 KOs) in the month of August, in the main event of a Showtime Pay-Per-View card.
Back in April, Paul needed a single round to blast out MMA veteran Ben Askren, who is close friends with Woodley.
Woodley has studied Paul's fights - including last November's brutal second round knockout of NBA star Nate Robinson.
He believes Paul tries to downplay his own abilities as a boxer - to make opponents have a false sense of security when they step in the ring with him.
“He’s trying to downplay his ability. He’s a fighter. Don’t let him play you by saying, ‘I’m just a YouTuber.’ Last week, he was a fighter. When he was saying nobody wanted to fight him, he was a fighter. You’re not a YouTuber anymore. You’re not on Disney. It’s been a long time since he was on Disney. That’s like me saying I’m just a collegiate wrestler and I don’t punch people," Woodley said.
“I’ve always wanted to box my whole life but never did it. This is my opportunity. This is a kid that’s a power-puncher. He’s got a lot of strength behind him. This is going to be a big platform to showcase what I can do in a boxing ring. And he’s a fighter. He can fight. At the end of the day, you can watch him and the timing, the rhythm and the footwork is there.
“He hasn’t fought very long. But the little action that I have seen was clean. Good defense. Nate was rushing him, he protected himself and he came out of his shell and cracked him."
Woodley, 39-years-old, is viewing this bout as the start of his pro boxing career.
Should he win, Woodley wants to fight again in the month of November.
“I just want to have fun. I want to train hard. I want to get better. I want to go out there and do things on my terms and be the one to call the shots. I want to go out there and make history. I always make history. I may not always get the credit for it but I’m always the first. Fighters always hit me up asking what they should do, what they’re doing wrong. Now it’s time for me to go do it myself," Woodley said.