The fight was far and away Paul’s biggest career test after initially facing YouTubers, an NBA star and renowned wrestler Ben Askren in his first four bouts
Jake Paul will agree to a rematch with Tyron Woodley – if the beaten man has “I love Jake Paul” tattooed on his leg.
Paul was truly tested for the first time in his boxing career as he earned a hard-fought split decision win over former UFC champion Woodley.
Paul was taken past the second round for the first time in his short career by Woodley who showed patience bordering on reluctance.
The hometown favourite was given the nod by two of the judges – a result which left both men perplexed.
“I don’t know what to say, but he’s a tough opponent,” Paul said. “He’s been boxing, fighting, striking for a number of years, I’ve been doing this for three years, this one was for Cleveland.
“My legs felt weird from when we walked out, I don’t know what was wrong with me. That split decision was bulls***, especially in my hometown, where’s that judge at?
“I got eight rounds under my belt, who’s doing that in their fourth pro fight? I’ve been boxing for 18 months, I haven’t been to the dentist, my teeth are crooked, my nose is crooked, I need to take some time.
“I’m only 24-years-old, I need to find out who I am, I’m changing a lot.”
Paul declined to confirm if his next bout would be against Tommy Fury, who won his four-round bout on the undercard earlier in the night.
Woodley, who rocked Paul in round four but who otherwise struggled to land, called for the rematch after the bout.
“You’re the one that got wobbled,” Woodley told Paul. “If these ropes weren’t so big you would have fallen through them.
“If this was the second biggest pay-per-view of the year, then the rematch will be the biggest.”
And the pair verbally agreed to a rematch when Paul told Woodley he would give him a second bout if he got a tattoo declaring his love for the YouTube star.
The duo agreed to the bet during a pre-fight press conference, and world famous tattoo artist Tatu Baby was in attendance with the intention of inking the winner.
Woodley, taking an unorthodox stance, struggled to work through the size difference, as Paul looked impressive with his combination punches.
But for the first time in his career the YouTube star was wobbled in the fourth round when Woodley landed a big right hand that changed the complexion of the bout.
However, he came back into his own, winning the fifth and sixth in front of a capacity hometown crowd in Cleveland, Ohio before Woodley went to work in the seventh.
But Paul showed his mettle in arguably the most impressive and mature performance in the history of ‘YouTube Boxing’, taking the eight round decision over the veteran Woodley.
Elsewhere on the card, Tommy Fury announced himself on the US stage with a faltering win over Paul’s sparring partner Anthony Taylor.
Fury called Paul out after the disappointing showing against a game, but far too small, Taylor.
“Looking at that, Jake Paul should have an easy night so there are no excuses now,” Fury said after the bout.
“You’ve seen everybody in here, I got the biggest cheer of the night. No excuses, no running, no hiding. I want you next you bum!”
“Let’s get it on. It should be easy enough for him, I went four rounds with his sparring partner. It should be no test at all.”
Daniel Dubois exploded on to the US scene with a brutal first round KO of Joe Cusumano in another fight of the undercard’s British invasion.
Dubois dropped Cusumano three times before the bout was waved off; the first stoppage finish of the American’s career.
He called out current WBA regular champion Trevor Bryan after the bout, which was his second quick stoppage since losing to Joe Joyce.
The standout bout of the evening saw Montana Love beat former world champion Ivan Baranchyk in a back-and-forth brawl.
Hometown hero Love was able to land a big knockdown after having been buzzed throughout the fight, and the former champion’s corner stopped the fight after seven.
In the co-main event Amanda Serrano dominated Mexican challenger Yamileth Mercado for the unified WBC, IBO, and WBO featherweight titles.
Serrano was expected to stop Mercado, but the bantamweight champion ended up going the 10-round distance before losing a lopsided decision.