CLEVELAND – If Jake Paul boxes again, he didn’t sound Monday morning as interested in fighting Tommy Fury as Fury’s strategic placement on his undercard indicated.
Paul criticized Fury’s performance in his four-round points victory over Anthony Taylor. The 24-year-old Paul also wants to learn how their pay-per-view show performed in the United Kingdom before determining his level of interest in considering England’s Fury as his next opponent.
Paul, of Westlake, Ohio, went the distance for the first time in four professional boxing matches in the main event at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Tyron Woodley, the 39-year-old former UFC welterweight champion, pushed Paul and hurt him with a right hand in the fourth round, but Paul (4-0, 3 KOs) won their eight-round cruiserweight contest by split decision.
Showtime Pay-Per-View televised Paul-Woodley as part of Paul’s multi-fight agreement with that premium cable network.
The 22-year-old Fury (7-0, 4 KOs) won all four rounds on each scorecard against Taylor (0-2), a significantly smaller mixed martial artist from Alameda, California. Tyson Fury’s younger brother went the distance in a second straight bout and media members seemed more interested in his filmed confrontation with Paul behind the scenes Sunday night than his unanimous-decision win over Taylor.
“Look, the guy really had nothing to say,” Paul said during a post-fight press conference early Monday morning, hours before suggesting that he is “retired” in an Instagram post. “You know, he had a mediocre performance against, you know, my sparring partner. All credit to Anthony Taylor – he’s a tough guy. But, you know, Tommy Fury is supposed to be this tough, big, bad guy, legendary blood line. You know, I got into his face and I let him talk. I don’t really have anything to say to him, you know?
“At the end of the day, I hired him to be here. I gave him an opportunity to shine, and I don’t really have anything to say to him. I don’t have any bad blood. I just said, ‘Yo, like, tell your girl to get out of my DMs.’ At the end of the day, will we see that fight? I would run that sh!t, easy. You know, that’s an easier fight than Tyron, in my opinion. But who knows?”
Fans and media have pressured Paul to face an actual professional boxer in his next bout.
His first four opponents were YouTube rival Ali Eson Gib, retired NBA point guard Nate Robinson, retired UFC welterweight Ben Askren and Woodley, who lost his last four MMA matches in UFC before he opposed Paul in his pro boxing debut. Paul knocked out Gib in the first round, knocked Robinson unconscious in the second round and stopped an out-of-shape Askren in the third round.
“But like people are like, ‘Oh, he’s a real boxer. Fight a real boxer,’ ” Paul said. “Maybe. Maybe let’s run it. ‘OK, real boxer.’ If he sold a lot of pay-per-views in the UK and we’re impressed with the numbers, sure. But I put him on this platform, so we’ll see what happens.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.