Paul is a -200 favorite for the bout, while Woodley has been labeled a +170 underdog. The odds are strange when you take into consideration the fact that 'The Problem Child' has only three professional boxing fights and Woodley competed at the top level in the UFC for many years.
Jake Paul himself expressed awe at the betting lines, calling them "absurd" and "hilarious." He said:
"Bro, to be honest, it's hilarious. Like, how did we get here? and you have been there the whole entire time which is so cool. I always say, you know, this guy [Tyron Woodley] has been boxing longer than me...so how am I the betting favorite? This is actually absurd to think about and people say 'Fight a real boxer, fight a real boxer.' This guy has been boxing longer than me. He was a UFC champion while I was doing the Disney thing."
However, Jake Paul being the betting favorite in his bout against Tyron Woodley obviously has some reasoning behind it. Here are three reasons why the YouTuber-turned-boxer is favored by bookmakers.
#3 Jake Paul has been accused of taking steroids
Renowned MMA coach Firas Zahabi recently made waves by claiming that Jake Paul is on steroids for his fight against Tyron Woodley.
Calling Paul bigger and stronger, Zahabi speculated that Paul is using performance-enhancing drugs because he doesn't have to go through the stringest testing procedures of a UFC fighter. Zahabi said:
“I didn’t want to mention it, but my number one factor — Jake Paul’s corner, they’re going to be on all sorts of substances. I don’t think they test. Maybe the week of the fight, (but) there’s no USADA. I didn’t want to say, but I think that’s a major factor. When I say he’s bigger and stronger and he’s more athletic, I think he’s basically on PEDs. I hate to say it, but I definitely think Jake Paul is going to be on PEDs. And I don’t think Tyron will be on PEDs. I think Tyron will be totally natural. Does it make a difference? It absolutely does.”
Despite an uproar following these comments, Paul dismissed the allegations, saying:
“I look at it as a compliment, right? These MMA guys are running out of excuses on why their guys are losing. To make a claim like that out of nowhere just shows. He should be embarrassed. My manager texted me that Georges St-Pierre’s coach is saying you’re using PEDs, FYI. I literally swiped my phone up, went to Safari, and I googled 'what are PEDs'. I swear to god! I swear on my mom’s life! I was like, oh my god, these guys are trying to do anything at this point to discredit me, to make me look stupid, to make any excuse. The crazy part about it is that dude these are real pro fights. We get drug tested, so how can you even make this claim?”
There is no concrete evidence to suggest that Jake Paul is on steroids, but statements coming from a respected figure in the MMA world would've certainly influenced the betting odds at some level.
#2 Jake Paul's boxing victories have had their legitimacy questioned
Jake Paul has three professional boxing bouts on his resume, with knockout wins over YouTuber AnEson Gib, former NBA player Nate Robinson and retired MMA fighter Ben Askren. Unfortunately for the 24-year-old, he has seen the legitimacy of his victories come under serious question.
Robinson looked completely out of his depth against Paul, leading fans to speculate that it was a setup. But things came to a head when 'The Problem Child' dispatched former UFC welterweight contender Askren in the first round.
Askren appeared to have done no real training for the fight and was completely out of shape on the day he had to make the ring walk. He showed no real intent during the fight and was even seen smiling after being knocked out.
UFC fighters like Colby Covington, Ike Villanueva and Eryk Anders gave their two cents on the matter, opining that Askren took a dive and cashed in an easy paycheck. 'Funky' has vehemently denied such claims, but speculation is rife in the MMA community.
While any claims of fixing must be taken with a grain of salt, a few prominent MMA personalities like middleweight contender Darren Till have already claimed that Woodley will throw the fight. This, too, would've influenced betting lines, although 'The Chosen One' has laughed in the face of such accusations.
#1 Tyron Woodley's recent fighting record is woeful
The fight game hasn't been kind to Tyron Woodley over the last two years. After his submission win over Darren Till in September 2018, 'The Chosen One' lost four fights on the trot before being let go by the UFC.
Woodley was first dominated by current welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, who won every round en route to a comprehensive decision victory. Things didn't get any better for the 39-year-old against Gilbert Burns, who also coasted to a unanimous-decision win.
Colby Covington, too, turned in a supreme performance against Woodley, securing a fifth-round TKO victory after having his way with the former undisputed champ. Woodley finally mounted some offense against Vicente Luque in March, but 'The Silent Assassin' outstruck him before choking him out in the very first round.
Woodley's losses have been to top-tier competition, but it seemed like he didn't even want to fight in his losses to Usman, Burns and Covington. There's no doubt that he's a shadow of the explosive champion he once was and that he's well past his prime. This, coupled with the fact that Woodley has never been the most talented pure boxer, has led to Jake Paul entering the upcoming boxing bout as the favorite.
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