Although Paul has only had three professional boxing bouts, and none against actual boxers, he’s the favorite heading into his sternest test yet in former UFC welterweight champion Woodley.
Paul meets Woodley in a 190-pound bout Sunday at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland. Although Woodley has one-punch knockout power that won him a UFC title, Atlas thinks Paul is coming in with plenty of physical advantages.
“He’s going to be the smaller guy, the lighter guy,”Atlas said about Woodley on his show, “THE FIGHT with Teddy Atlas.” “So Paul’s the bigger guy. He’s strong. (He) has that advantage and he has the opportunity to throw, which is a decent right hand that he possesses. He’s got the opportunity to throw it and land it because of the style of Woodley and the mistakes of Woodley. (Woodley) stands straight up. He’s predicable. He throws that slow jab. He throws it halfway out. He lets you get close. Paul’s got a good right hand. He’s going to land the right hand. So bad news is, Paul is going to knock him out.”
Atlas lauded Paul for being strategic when picking Woodley, an accomplished fighter known for his power, but a fighter who may be on the tail end of his career.
“The way I’m looking at it, he took this fight for a reason,” Atlas said. “He picked this fight for a reason. It’s because he can sell it. It’s because there’s going to be credibility attached to it … He’s fighting a guy who’s going to be tough. He’s fighting a guy who’s a striker, who was a champion, and that’s part of the reason it’s going to sell and part of the reason he picked Woodley because you can attach credibility to this fight saying the guy could win.
“Woodley’s been a great champion, but Woodley’s 39 years old. He’s lost his last four fights and he’s lost his last two by KO and submission. I’ll say it, and this is not to be disrespectful – I already said the things I needed to say about how much I respect the guy – but he’s shot. He has the look of a shot fighter in MMA and UFC. Now a lot of people are going to say because he’s a professional fighter and a former champion that he’s going to beat Paul.
“He’s in a bad place mentally. He’s in a bad place physically. He’s not in his best place. Now having said what I said, losing those last four fights, 39 years old, he lost those to real fighters.”
Photos: Tyron Woodley through the years
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