Exclusive: Tyron Woodley's coach sends warning to Jake Paul
In our exclusive interview, Pedro Diaz warns Jake Paul that Tyron Woodley is ready for their rematch even on short notice, and reveals his fighter's gameplan.
Tyron Woodley’s coach, Pedro Diaz, has warned Jake Paul that if Manny Pacquiao can lose to a last-minute replacement, so can he.
Woodley has stepped in to fight Paul for a second time after Tommy Fury was forced to withdraw through injury from their December 18 fight.
The former UFC welterweight champion lost their first bout on the scorecards as Paul earned a split decision victory, and he’ll have just 11 days to prepare for the rematch after taking the fight on short notice.
The sports betting odds are stacked against Woodley, who is currently a +210 underdog.
However, in our exclusive interview, Diaz says he believes his fighter can emulate Yordenis Ugas, who stepped in at late notice to fight Manny Pacquiao in August and upset the odds to beat the legendary Filipino.
“Boxing is not predictable,” Diaz says. “Ugas took the fight against Pacquiao at ten days’ notice and got the win, it's the same this time with Woodley, so I think it's possible he could beat Jake.
“But Jake Paul has improved a lot, and I think Jake Paul is going to move a lot more in this fight than the first one because he knows what happened in the first fight when he stood in front of Tyron. Jake’s going to avoid going to war with Tyron.”
Diaz acknowledge that the lack of preparation time is not ideal for his fighter, with Paul having had plenty of time to train for this bout.
He believes the fight promises to be “more interesting” than their first meeting, however, and believes the key to victory for Woodley is to be more aggressive and to close the distance on Paul.
“Paul is a great warrior who has been improving and developing his boxing skills and has a great team,” he says. “And Woodley is a great athlete who has a lot of experience and is always in shape and ready, he's always training, but I'd have liked Tyron to have more notice for this rematch with Paul, to have more time to train.
“Like everyone knows it's a last-minute fight, Paul has had a long full training camp and Woodley has had very little time to prepare, but it's a more interesting fight than the first one, it's going to be a great battle.
“The first fight was a very close fight and I think this time Woodley has to be more aggressive. Paul is more of a boxer and Woodley is a warrior. Tyron’s going to have to go after the victory. We saw in the first fight that Woodley had great moments, but he has to be prepared to be more determined and work more and apply pressure in the mid-to-short distances. The last time he spent too much time mid-to-long distance and out of range. This time he needs to put more pressure on medium-to-short-distance. It’s about two champions going for victory, anything can happen.”
Meanwhile in camp Jake Paul, sparring partner Jake Bostwick reveals there could be an ulterior motive to the $500,000 KO bonus on the table if Woodley can stop the YouTuber inside the distance. Bostwick believes Woodley, enticed by a bigger payday, could come out swinging and play into Paul’s hands.
“Jake is offering Tyron a $500,000 bonus to knock him out, that’s a crazy clause,” Bostwick says. “He could be dangling that carrot in front of Tyron to get him to come out recklessly and that also adds pressure on Tyron. If Tyron comes out swinging he could get caught and we know Jake has power – don’t sleep on Jake’s power. I think Woodley will come out with a fire under his ass and try to bang but he’s got to be smart. It will be a different kind of fight this time with Woodley taking this fight on short notice.
“Jake will be more aggressive this time, his boxing is going to be better this time, and he will have his range on point. But if Tyron turns up and puts the pressure on it could be a better night for Tyron. Jake learned from the last fight not to stand in front of him. Jake will counter and put his punches together, and will be firing on all cylinders. You’ll see a way better Jake this time. Jake wins by stoppage.”
If Paul’s performance reflects the odds and he overcomes Woodley on Saturday night, question marks will still remain over how Paul will fare against a professional boxer. After all, he took up the sport in early twenties, comparatively late by any fighters standards. Bostwick does however believe what the YouTuber lacks in amateur pedigree he makes up in an intangible you cannot teach: raw power.
“In sparring I’ve banged Jake and he’s stumbled about, and he’s clipped me and stumbled me. We’ve had some wars in the gym and he’s ready for deep waters. I do feel that Jake has got a good chin,” Bostwick says.
“Jake hits hard. Jake’s right hand is naughty, proper naughty. That’s the shot that affected me in sparring. He boxes well but his right hand is money.”
“Honestly, Jake is one of my most awkward sparring partners, no joke. He’s tough and game. He can bang you about. He throws heavy shots. I know what it’s like to get hit by a big shot - and I'm not one to blow smoke - but Jake’s right hand is up there, it’s solid. It’s long and hard and he sits down on it. He’s got the basics down to a tee. Hats off to this kid, the whole world is talking about it and wants to tune in”.
As for Tommy Fury, Bostwick believes his injury is a blessing in disguise to avoid embarrassing the family name had he lost to Jake Paul. Bostwick thinks Tommy was getting nervous, but does want to see him get his shot in a fight that everyone wants to see.
“I’m sorry but no-one this close to the fight should be hitting you hard enough to fracture your ribs, and if they are you should at least be intelligently defending yourself,” he says. “You’ve got the biggest fight coming up, your biggest payday. So it makes you think maybe he didn’t want the fight.
“Maybe Tommy was getting nervous, there was a lot riding on this fight, he’s got the Fury name to carry. If he loses he’s a family embarrassment, they would absolutely do their nut in. If he lost to Jake Paul imagine the memes in the aftermath if he got knocked out. His family would have been pissed.”
“We don’t really know the extent of his injury but if he is injured, I feel Tommy deserves another chance because everyone wants to see that fight. It would have given Jake a chance to showcase his skills against the brother of the heavyweight champion of the world, but you can’t be pulling out again, that’s crazy. I feel he’ll probably get a second chance but if he messes it up again it’ll be done.”