Getting that middle finger tattoo may pay off in the long run for Tyron Woodley, because he got the fight that he wanted. Tommy Fury has pulled out of his Dec. 18 pay-per-view bout against Jake Paul. Fury, the former Love Island UK star, sent out a statement through his promoter, Frank Warren, announcing that due to a bacterial infection in his chest and a broken rib he will not be able to fight in two weeks, and hopes that the fight can be rescheduled.
Those with any familiarity with Paul’s work know that the YouTube star did not take this change in plans lightly, calling out Fury’s toughness on Twitter with expletives. He then later went on The Pat McAfee Show to accuse Fury of faking his mother’s illness to get out of a press conference and call the whole family “sketchy.”
However, being that Paul is a social media star, he knew that he needed some buzz and needed it quickly in order to sell this pay-per-view event. What better way to sell it than with the person who almost beat him less than four months ago.
Paul’s first three professional boxing matches were all knockout victories, and then he decided to take on the former UFC welterweight champion in his debut as a professional boxer. During the fight, Woodley looked like someone who hadn’t boxed professionally, but he also did look like an actual championship fighter, the likes of which Paul had never seen. Paul needed every bit of the four-inch height advantage to fend off Woodley and win by split decision.
After the fight, Woodley looked more like he had just finished a sparring session than his first professional boxing match and called for a rematch during the post-fight interview. Paul was evasive at first, but eventually said Woodley could have his rematch if their bet from their July press conference was honored. The two bet that the loser would have to get the winner’s name tattooed somewhere on his body, and a month after the fight Woodley honored the bet with a big F-U to Paul.
This may be a last-minute decision for Woodley, but it could very well be the last time that Paul walks into a ring undefeated. Woodley pushed Paul throughout the second half of their Aug. 29 fight, and staggered him with a right hand at the end of the fourth round. To Paul’s credit, he did respond and stayed competitive the rest of the fight, stealing another round or two in winning his first fight via decision.
Fury backing out of this might be the best thing that could’ve happened to this fight. The trash talk between the two celebrities, and Fury’s older brother Tyson being the lineal Heavyweight Champion of the world, provided enough hype to sell an event, but it would’ve simply been two people fighting with limited professional experience — Fury has seven pro fights, Paul has four. We’re pretty sure the younger Fury had a decent shot at victory, but we know Woodley does. He barely broke a sweat in an eight-round bout against Paul.
That’s the image that Paul is trying to sell, someone the public would love to see get his face smashed. Some of that image comes from the arrogance to think that he is saving boxing. On McAfee’s show, he literally said he and his brother Logan are the Uber to the taxi cab that boxing used to be. There is also is general unlikeability and the serious reasons that a person might want Woodley to send Paul completely through the ropes this time. He has been accused of bullying in the workplace and of sexual misconduct by two different women. Paul is not frequently asked about those accusations. Google, Jake Paul sexual assault, and most of the results are from April 2021. Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks did ask him about it in November at his training camp in Puerto Rico.
The fight in two weeks won’t include a musical number from a member of the Fury family, but it will be an actual intriguing matchup for the first time in Paul’s short professional career. A matchup in which a person can make a confident prediction that Paul will finally hit the canvas.
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