Canelo Alvarez has made his catchphrase, “No Boxing No Life,” a part of combat sports culture.
Appropriately, an altered version fits in the now-deceased saga between Jake “The Problem Child” Paul and Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley.
No Tattoo. No Life.
Paul told ESPN on Monday that he is no longer interested in pursuing a rematch against Woodley after the latter didn’t get a tattoo as requested. The YouTuber-turned-new boxing entertainment star defeated Woodley by a split decision late last month.
“I’m over it,” Paul said to ESPN. “I’m leaving Tyron in the past. He didn’t live up to the bet — he didn’t get the tattoo. So, the rematch just doesn’t make sense anymore.”
When The Hype Begins To Die
Immediately after the bout, Paul challenged the former UFC welterweight champion to honor a side bet to get “I Love Jake Paul” tattooed on him.
“If you get the tattoo ‘I love Jake Paul,’ let’s run it back,” Paul said during the in-ring interview.
Woodley replied, “Bet.”
The two shook hands.
Conversely, Paul agreed to have “I love Tyron Woodley” tattooed on him if he lost the fight. During the lead-up to Logan Paul’s fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr., Jake Paul famously tattooed “Gotcha Hat” on his leg after taking Mayweather’s hat off his head.
Paul’s willingness to go to extremes to create miniature narratives that elevate a fight event is part of his combat aesthetic. This method for selling the fight only works when you have a willing dance partner.
Not participating in this part of Paul’s game has cost Woodley another $2 million in purse pay.
The Price Of Fame
Tyron Woodley and Jake Paul are at two different points in their career and understanding of sports entertainment. There is also a cultural chasm that is highly apparent between them.
The 24-year-old Paul (4-0, 3 KOs) is a world-renowned content creator. He began his professional boxing journey in January 2020 and has proved to be an influential participant in the sport’s landscape with his outsized personality and quickly developing skillset.
Fighting out of Puerto Rico, the Cleveland-born native has enlisted pro fighters to graduate his knowledge base exponentially. Paul enlisted former pro boxing contender B.J. Flores as his trainer. He also hired pro fighters J’Leon Love and Anthony Taylor among his team and sparring partners.
Paul knocked out YouTube star AnEsonGib and former NBA star Nate Robinson in his first two outings. He also made quick work of former MMA champion Ben Askren in April with a first-round knockout.
After weeks of buildup, Paul faced Woodley on Aug. 29, exchanging verbal jabs for punches. A clear step-up from Paul’s previous three opponents, Woodley posed the most dangerous threat in Paul’s career.
Woodley comes from a high-level wrestling pedigree as a former Division I All-American at Mizzou. He parlayed that into a mixed martial arts career that led to becoming a dominant UFC welterweight champion.
After losing four fights in a row and losing his title to Kamaru Usman, Woodley found a restart with boxing. However, the game became less about athleticism and more about shenanigans during this time.
Woodley, 39, made his pro boxing debut against Paul and looked on the verge of victory with the most meaningful punch of the night in the fourth round. He rocked Paul with an overhand right that sent him almost through the ropes.
However, Paul appeared to be more active. He out-landed Woodley 71-52 in total punches, while Woodley out-landed Paul in power punches 41-35.
Ultimately, The judges scored the fight 78-74 and 77-75 for Paul, and 77-75 for Woodley.
Paul won the fight in the court of public opinion, and Woodley took his foot off the gas to skew the momentum his way. Paul is always willing to trade out-of-ring entertainment for in-ring prowess.
Tyron Woodley is a finished guy If he gets that Jake Paul tattoo
— Jay (@JayAndreas___) September 12, 2021
As he steps up to tougher competition, he will continue to create distraction-style narratives to set his lack of pedigree off. It is a fail-safe in case he loses.
Like Floyd Mayweather, who realized the “Money Mayweather” character would distract from his less offensive, defensive fighting style, Paul understands that the fight game is more entertaining with drama than plain sports.
Woodley said he would get the tattoo but wanted paperwork to guarantee the rematch. It hasn’t happened, leaving him to probably believe the tattoo request is a troll move by Paul. Either way, Paul expected him to roll the dice.
However, in the world of Jake Paul and the new entertainers entering combat sports, it’s Woodley’s inaction that tanks the flavor of the month-style fan interest.