On Saturday, Dec. 18, Showtime will host the next appearance of Jake Paul, but it will not be against professional boxer Tommy Fury. Unfortunately, the undefeated Brit, who is the younger brother of heavyweight kingpin Tyson Fury, was forced to pull out of their highly anticipated match-up due to health concerns. As result, Tyron Woodley was awarded the opportunity to rematch Paul after their clash back in August, which resulted in a split decision victory for the YouTube star-turned-boxer.
The pair were previously linked to a rematch after Woodley tattooed “I Love Jake Paul” on his finger to honor the bet the two had made prior to their first bout. That fight was an entertaining exhibition that saw Paul control a majority of the rounds, but Woodley landing the more powerful shots.
The co-main event will feature women’s featherweight champion Amanda Serrano facing off against Miriam Gutierrez in a women’s lightweight matchup. Serrano is considered one of the best active female boxers in the world, and she holds WBC, WBO and IBO women’s featherweight titles. She will look to continue her dominance at lightweight when facing Gutierrez who has compiled a 14-1 professional record.
Also on the card is a puzzling, yet intriguing, heavyweight matchup between former NBA star Deron Williams and former NFL running back Frank Gore. This bout will be the first professional boxing appearance for either man and should help pull in fans from other professional sports.
Paul vs. Woodley II takes place inside the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla. The action will begin at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime pay-per-view. Combat Press writers Andrew Sumian and Matt Petela preview the action this week as they go Toe-to-Toe.
Tyron Woodley was widely criticized for his lack of output in the pair’s first meeting earlier this year; will “The Chosen One” be able to correct his mistakes and walk away with an emphatic victory?
Petela: There is one tell-tale sign that a fighter is no longer in peak form, and that is their hesitancy to pull the trigger. That isn’t a problem that can be corrected with training camp adjustments, so Tyron Woodley will face the same challenges this time out. He won’t be intentionally hesitant, trying to lure Paul in before snapping off a sharp counter. It will be a case that there is a disconnect between his brain and his body. This fight will be as lackluster as the first one for the most part. However, true to the age-old adage, power is the last thing to go. After what amounts to basically a light sparring session for several rounds, Woodley will connect flush once and send Paul to the canvas. There will be no controversy in this one and Tyron Woodley will derail the Jake Paul hype train.
Sumian: In the pair’s first meeting, Woodley undoubtedly landed the most significant strike of the entire bout when he clipped Paul, sending him staggering onto the ropes. Paul was able to recover and control Woodley for the majority of the bout by using his jab and movement However, “The Problem Child” failed to fire off any formidable offense that stunned or hobbled Woodley, even for a brief moment. Woodley will forever go down as one of the best welterweight champions in UFC history due to his impressive title reign and thunderous power. Unfortunately, he is well past his prime, which made him a perfect candidate for Paul to the face back in August. This time around, things will be different.
Paul’s rise as a YouTube sensation has been nothing short of impressive. His transition to boxing has been nothing short of comical, ridiculous and wildly entertaining. Thus far, the Ohio native has made a combat sports career out of taking out NBA players, grapplers and anything else that would garner him a strong chance of achieving victory. Facing Woodley was the first real test Paul had in facing a well-equipped combat sports athlete who is able to throw a powerful punch with prolific technique. Although Woodley came out hesitant in the pair’s first meeting, it seemed like he certainly did enough to get the nod.
When these two face off for the second time, Woodley will come out with a chip on his shoulder, ready to silence both the critics and Paul brothers simultaneously. He will strategically unload powerful counter hooks early in Round one and eventually connect to Paul’s chin. Paul will recover to his feet and quickly come out to halt Woodley’s pressure, but that will not be enough. Woodley will continue to unload until he overwhelms his rival, and the referee will have seen enough. Woodley will rebound with a technical knockout victory and leave no doubt that Paul is simply not good enough to seriously compete as a combat athlete.
The co-main event features unified women’s featherweight boxing world champion Amanda Serrano; does the 33-year-old Puerto Rican standout get past challenger Miriam Gutierrez?
Sumian: Yes, and with relative ease. Serrano is simply on another level from where Gutierrez is, and she will hand Gutierrez her first knockout loss. The women’s featherweight champion is one of the more powerful punchers in women’s boxing, who has compiled a whopping 41-1 professional card with 30 wins coming by way of knockout. Her power, footwork and experience will be the difference here even at a heavier weight class. Gutierrez is from Spain and has spent the majority of her career in the local circuit in Madrid. The only notable competitor she has faced is Katie Taylor, who also happens to be her sole loss.
Serrano will test the waters of lightweight by coming in cool and calculated, as she establishes a rhythm and fires off her jab. She will quickly transition to throwing powerful 1-2 combinations while avoiding any offense Gutierrez is able to fire off. After dominating the first few rounds, Serrano will begin to land harder and eventually drop Gutierrez with a powerful combination. The Spanish fighter will return to her feet, but suffer another knockout shortly after. The referee will have seen enough and rule in favor of Serrano via knockout.
Petela: This is the best fight on the card in terms of boxing pedigree and talent. Boxing fans should be beating the drum for Amanda Serrano to get more publicity. These high-profile slots on gimmicky fight cards are a good opportunity for her to shine. It feels almost blasphemous to make this comparison, but it is reminiscent of when Christy Martin fought Deirdre Gogarty on the undercard of Mike Tyson’s fight with Frank Bruno. Obviously, Jake Paul is almost the antithesis of a young Mike Tyson, but, nevertheless, he is a big draw, and this will be another showcase performance for Serrano.
The most impressive thing about Serrano is her power. She has racked up 30 knockout wins over her career, an impressive number for any boxer. Add to that statistic that women’s boxing has just two-minute rounds, and it makes it even more incredible. She will move that number up to 31 with a late round stoppage over Gutierrez, who is no slouch, but is not on the same level as Serrano.
Anthony Taylor and Chris Avila previously fought in MMA under the Bellator banner with Taylor winning a decision; how does this fight play out inside the boxing ring?
Petela: Chris Avila has won less than 50 percent of his MMA fights, sporting a record of 8-9. He also lost his lone professional boxing match. His biggest claim to fame is being friends with the Diaz brothers. Anthony Taylor has more boxing experience, with four fights and a 2-2 record. This fight will be sloppy, but it will probably be entertaining. These two will trash talk throughout the fight and probably throw technique out the window early, opting instead to wing wild punches at each other in hopes of connecting flush. This one is slated for eight rounds, but don’t expect it to go the distance. Taylor will catch Avila showboating, and probably screaming “Stockton”, and land a right hand that wobbles him. After a couple looping follow-up shots, the referee will wave it off before the halfway point of this fight.
Sumian: I agree with my colleague. This one is for pure entertainment, and it will deliver in its own special way. Avila and Taylor will throw wild combinations and will probably end up gassing out sooner rather than later. Taylor should be able to land and eventually finish Avila with a flurry. Expect entertainment for as long as this fight lasts.
Retired NBA star Deron Williams squares off against retired NFL star Frank Gore in a four-round contest; which of their sports will have bragging rights at the end of the night?
Sumian: This is a classic football-versus-basketball showdown. Despite the card being headlined by Paul and Woodley, expect many fans to tune in simply to see how this bizarre, yet fan-snatching, bout plays out. Both Williams and Gore were prolific talents in their respective sports, but have never competed in professional boxing. Williams will certainly have the reach, height and footwork advantage over the stockier, yet physically powerful, Gore. On the other hand, Gore will hold the power and strength advantages due to his incredible career as an NFL running back.
This bout will go one of two ways. If Williams stays on the outside, and continuously throws long jabs to keep Gore at a safe distance without getting lazy, he will win a boring, yet decisive, decision victory. If he does not, and Gore is able to get on the inside of Williams’s reach and height, expect the power of Gore to come into play and result in a brutal knockout victory.
Recently, there was footage of Gore hitting the pads, and, quite frankly, he did not look bad. Gore will be able to get inside the reach and height of Williams where he will fire off powerful uppercuts and hooks eventually landing on the chin of Williams and calling it a night. Expect football fans to use this victory as a means to brag to their fellow basketball fans.
Petela: One of these guys was a football player, and one was a basketball player. That’s about all the information I know about them, and I’m not sure which one played which sport. Based solely on the difference in height – Gore is five-feet-nine-inches tall and Williams is six inches taller – I’m picking Williams here. He should be able to stick his jab in Gore’s face and frustrate him for four rounds, en route to a boring decision win in a fight that could only find a home on a sideshow like this event.
Main Card (Showtime, 9 p.m. ET)
CruiserW: Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley
Women’s LW: Amanda Serrano vs. Miriam Gutierrez
Super MW: Anthony Taylor vs. Chris Avila
HW: Deron Williams vs. Frank Gore
CruiserW: J’Leon Love vs. Marcus Oliveira
Junior WW: Liam Paro vs. Yomar Alamo
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