By: Hans Themistode
When former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley first revealed that he would be taking on Jake Paul, many believed that he would simply become another victim of the social media star.
Whether anyone likes it or not, Paul is currently riding a three-fight win streak in the boxing ring and is fresh off scoring the biggest victory of his career when he stopped former MMA star Ben Askren in the first round of their contest which took place this past April. Although Woodley is considered far and away the best fighter Paul has ever faced, he’ll still faces several disadvantages come fight night.
Besides Paul holding a four-inch height and two-inch reach advantage, at the age of 39, Woodley is getting a bit long in the tooth. Still, regardless of the dust piling up on his birth certificate, Woodley has expressed an enormous amount of hubris for their upcoming August showdown.
Once word spread of Woodley stepping out of the mixed martial arts cage and into the squared circle, many have questioned whether or not he’ll be familiar with the confines of his new fighting home.
Offering to be the panacea to Woodley as he transitions, is newly inducted Hall of Famer, Floyd Mayweather. At first, upon hearing that Mayweather was interested in training him, Woodley took his words as somewhat tongue and cheek. However, after spending his first training session with Mayweather just yesterday, Woodley was somewhat surprised with the level of intensity.
“I didn’t know if it was just because he was so disrespected by Jake or if he really wanted to help me,” said Woodley as he spoke on Mayweather’s run in with Jake Paul several months ago during an interview with Fight Hub TV. “He came in yesterday and we trained yesterday and he really wants to help me. I wasn’t prepared to be honest because I just did a crazy workout before and I didn’t know we were going to work out. I didn’t know if we were just going to go over a couple things, show me a couple moves and just for some cameras and photo ops like nah, we really trained.”
While Woodley refrained from spilling the beans on what strategy Mayweather told him to use, the former UFC champion did go into detail about what their first training session was like.
“For one, I shadowboxed for nearly an hour. Just watching my footwork, motion and details. It don’t sound like much but I dare somebody to shadowbox for ten minutes then come holla at me. Your calves are going to burn in a whole different way. After that he said, I want you to jump on the bag. He said give me that UFC power.”
Mayweather, 44, has become very familiar with the entire Paul family. Less than a month ago, Mayweather took on Jake’s older brother, Logan, in an eight-round exhibition. As agreed upon, no winner was announced after their contest but from the outside looking in, Mayweather appeared to get the better of Logan several times over, despite giving up approximately 50 pounds in weight.
With the former five-division world champion officially hanging up his gloves in 2017, Mayweather has stated several times over that he will never return to the ring for a professional fight. Instead, Mayweather has placed his focus on promoting, as he currently has one of boxing’s youngest stars in Gervonta Davis in his fighting stable. Outside of promoting, Mayweather has also turned to coaching. By the sound of it, Woodley is enjoying the motivational push he’s receiving from one of the greatest fighters of all time.
“He was just pushing me, saying hey you the fighter, you the best, you the champion. You the mother f*cker he worried about, he ain’t no fighter, walk him down, punish him. He’s a real coach.”