The Tyron Woodley vs. Jake Paul saga all started with a prank call.
Woodley will make his professional boxing debut when he faces Paul on August 28. In what will be the biggest payday of his career, the former welterweight champion has the opportunity to end shut Paul up once and for all.
Things seemingly started when Woodley had some heated words with Paul and boxer J’Leon Love backstage before the Ben Askren fight.
However, it goes deeper than that.
“You know how the thing really, really started? Way, way back when I was not able to talk about it. Some people were like, ‘hypothetically, would you fight Jake Paul?’ Yeah, but I can’t do it,” Woodley said on Food Truck Diaries. “I got a fight coming up. So I was on a contract and not being able to talk about it. Hypothetically, would I be interested if I could? Yeah. Did he? No, he wasn’t interested. But what happened is when you become a person that is a larger than life vlogger, you get to the point where your reputation is on the line. Now I call you out, you better step up to the plate.
“Him and his buddy were doing some prank call when Ben was fighting. … They prank called me. ‘This is ESPN, we got to do this!’ I do the interview even though they just called me randomly. At the end of it, ‘what do you think when Jake kicks the hell out of Ben?’ I was like, ‘dude, I don’t even know how you got my number.’ I’m worried about my own fight and Ben. But they were laughing and they turned my phone number to a camera. So 300, 400, 500, 600 calls later on my cell phone…I was like, ‘whoever this dude that did this, I’m gonna whoop their ass.'”
As for Love, there was a backstory with him as well.
“I was in Miami for Floyd’s [Mayweather] birthday party,” Woodley said. “Some guy walked up to me and kind of spooked away and peeled off to the left. I didn’t even know who he was!
“Then I watched his [Paul] vlog, I see him and I went back to the Instagram post that Floyd put up and it was him. He was at the party! He pulled up to me, didn’t say nothing, freaked out, peeled off. And then, he in the locker room [before the Askren fight] being all tough. I was kind of surprised — ‘you’re a whole ho right now. If you really had smoke, we were face to face, nobody was around, you could have pulled up if you had something to say.’ Unfortunately for him, he built a fight for Jake to fight.”
Woodley To Remain In Boxing
While many imagine Woodley will get a handsome payday and ride off into the sunset or return to mixed martial arts, that isn’t the case.
“The Chosen One” plans to box more than a couple of times before returning to MMA.
“I want to continue to box for sure,” Woodley revealed. “I want to box a couple of times in a row because I don’t want to get the adrenaline rush from boxing and go right back into MMA. What’s the worst that can happen? My boxing is better, my hands are sharper, I’m using more than a right hand, my jab is more established, my hook, my angles, my defense is better? This is going to help me in MMA.
“I’m not going to stop boxing, I’m doing everything. I’m gonna be in different weight classes. I’m fighting at 190 now. 170 is a b*tch — I’m still going to make it if the bag is right.”
You can watch the full interview below: