Jake Paul’s trainer: Tyron Woodley’s only chance is a lucky punch

·3 min read

BJ Flores knows a boxer when he sees one. And Jake Paul, he says, is the genuine article.

Is Paul going to challenge the elite cruiserweights any time soon? Of course not. The man will be fighting for only the fourth time when he faces Tyron Woodley on pay-per-view Sunday in Cleveland. Is it fair to describe him as a legitimate prospect? Yes.

That’s because Paul has more going for him than the ability to attract fans on YouTube. He is a good athlete (he played football and wrestled), he works hard in the gym and he doesn’t abuse his body with foreign substances, which is a formula for success.

Flores couldn’t be happier about Paul’s commitment to the sport.

“I think he’s about 50% of where he could be,” Flores, Paul’s trainer, told Boxing Junkie. “… He’s only 24. And he’s with his boxing team 24-7. He has no time to party at night. That’s a big advantage for him. The fact is he’s a tough kid and he’s a hard worker. He’s not taking time off. He has momentum now and sometimes momentum is a powerful thing. And he’s learning quickly.

“Can he win a world title one day? I don’t know. But he can beat these MMA guys, I’ll tell you right now.”

Flores acknowledges what many believe, that Woodley is the toughest test so far for Paul, who has knocked out a fellow YouTuber (AnEsonGib), a retired NBA player (Nate Robinson) and a former MMA titleholder (Ben Askren).

Woodley, another former MMA champion making his boxing debut, has big-fight experience and is known for his punching power. He also has been working with Floyd Mayweather.

“The other guys couldn’t even fight,” said Flores, referring to Paul’s first three opponents.

Still, Flores, consistent with his earlier comment, gives Woodley almost no chance of beating Paul on Sunday in part because of the fighters with whom Paul tangles in the gym on a regular basis.

“He’s probably sparred close to 500 rounds with good pros all over the world, guys like Jean Pascal, J’Leon Love, Ronald Ellis,” Flores said. “He spars with these kind of guys, five, six rounds, all the time. That’s why I have so much confidence in him. It’s impossible for Tyron to get that kind of work, to gain the experience needed to beat a guy like Jake.

“Granted, if [Paul] gets caught with a lucky shot, he could lose. Otherwise [Woodley] has no chance to win this fight.”

That’s why Flores is surprised that many people are giving Woodley a good chance to have his hand raised.

Paul is only about a 1½-1 favorite, according to most oddsmakers. And many fans, particularly those who follow MMA, see it as a 50-50 fight or lean toward Woodley even though his expertise is jiujitzu and he has never taking part in a boxing event.

That’s fine with Flores. The doubters, he said, will learn on Sunday.

“You have to take it with a grain of salt,” he said of the notion that the fight is 50-50 on paper. “Jake is focused on the task at hand. He’s been counting down 100 days every single day so he knows how many days there are to the fight.

“He’s constantly working to make sure he gets what he deserves on fight night. I’m a thousand percent sure: There’s nothing Tyron can do to win the fight.”

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