At the conclusion of the press conference festivities, Paul and Woodley had a faceoff in advance of Sunday’s boxing match at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, which airs on Showtime pay-per-view. It was largely casual, until one of Paul’s team members started getting into a verbal exchange with Woodley’s mother.
The situation escalated from there, with team and family members on both sides getting involved in a heated scuffle. Cooler head ultimately prevailed, and nothing too serious came out of it.
“Of course (I didn’t want it to happen),” Paul told MMA Junkie after the incident. “This is Women’s Equality Day. If it was literally anything else, I’m just sitting there talking about how much I love my mom, how much I love my girlfriend, and of course, there has to be an altercation involving females. It sucks. Just everything about it just looks messy. We’re trying to have a professional event here, and now things are more personal. Probably going to need more security at all these places. Things just aren’t cordial anymore. Tensions will definitely be higher going into this fight.”
Paul said the situation came as particularly surprising, because behind the scenes the supporting casts of both fighters have been civil. Woodley’s mother was seated next to Paul’s mother, in fact, before everything started to unravel.
“It’s really weird,” Paul said. “They’ve been friends since they first met in Miami at the first faceoff ever. My mom and Tyron’s mom, they’ve sat together and talked. It just seems weird. How did this happen? Everyone got involved and shit talk and accusation and everything going back and forth. It’s just messy.”
Although Paul wasn’t super happy with everything, he said it brings more intensity to the fight. Emotions are ramped up even higher than they already were, and despite Woodley being the more heated athlete in the moment, Paul said the fight is now “more personal” for him, as well.
“I think it’s more personal for me too,” Paul said. “Just seeing his team act the way they did. He probably is sitting there saying the same thing. He wants to get all gangster. But they were also being super disrespectful. My team is being professional. Were they in the wrong? Yeah. But they’re never just going to come out of pocket and just act up like that. There had to have been something that built up, then it explodes. Everything is more personal, and I’ll make him and his team pay for that.”
As far as the situation as a whole, Paul wouldn’t change the past, he said. He’s not going to instruct or encourage the team member who started the whole thing to apologize – as Woodley requested – and he’s just ready to move forward to fight now.
“Hell no – we’re not sorry,” Paul said. “We’re not sorry at all. Should we not have done it? Maybe. But we’re not sorry.”
Watch the full interview with Paul in the video above, and watch the altercation after the press conference below.
Photos: Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley pre-fight press conference, staredowns
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