HomeSportsJake Paul bounces back from first loss with a unanimous decision victory...

Jake Paul bounces back from first loss with a unanimous decision victory over Nate Diaz

Jake Paul (left) knocks down Nate Diaz during a boxing match at the American Airlines Center in Dallas on Aug. 5, 2023. (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)

Jake Paul is still ‘The Problem Child’. For older MMA fighters, at least.

The social media influencer turned boxer earned a unanimous decision victory (97-92, 98-91, 98-91) over UFC veteran Nate Diaz on Saturday, improving his professional boxing record to 7-1 (0-1 against professional boxers). ).

The fight had all the hallmarks of a Jake Paul fight. Weeks of attention and worry whether this is really the future of boxing. An opponent known for anything other than boxing skill. Enough celebrities. Noise, endless noise. Nothing to learn, at least about Paul’s future as a real boxer.

We certainly learned the same lesson about his prowess as a promoter, selling a fight against an opponent 12 years his senior with months of experience in the sport. The big draw here was that Diaz was the one who stopped another loudmouth, Conor McGregor, with his legendary submission victory in 2016. Paul, and the sport of boxing, proved to be a different kind of challenge.

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The fight seemed almost over in the first round, when Paul hurt Diaz and unleashed a series of blows the next minute that put the fighter on his back foot. Diaz recovered enough to quell the threat, but the match looked much like Paul’s other victories, with his chosen Big MMA name looking hesitant and slow.

Diaz began to sort out his defense in the second round, but never landed a punch that seemed to hurt Paul. Those finally started to come in the fourth, when Diaz got aggressive with a flurry of hooks that wouldn’t have been out of place in an MMA match.

Diaz started having some fun in the fifth, pretending a punch hurt him, but Paul hit back with a knockdown and spent the rest of the round hitting Diaz like he did in round one. The next few rounds were somewhat even before Diaz really seemed to do some damage in the eighth and ninth, waking up the crowd. Paul’s blows no longer seemed to hurt him.

The antics continued into the final lap, with Diaz feigning fatigue and damage, or at least some of it. Paul, who had never fought a match longer than eight rounds, was starting to look excited, while Diaz looked nothing but amused.

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The momentum ultimately belonged to Diaz, as many predicted, but Paul’s control in the first few laps ensured an undisputed decision.

“I basically knocked him down every round, and then he won one round. But he’s a warrior,” said Paul after the fight. “I had him injured in the first round, he just kept coming. No one takes that much damage, but all the credit goes to my team, my fitness. Ten rounds going into my eighth fight, it’s unheard of. Only three years into boxing . Beating a UFC Legend.”

Who will Jake Paul fight next?

The answer to the question of where Paul goes from here will rest, as always, on Paul. He suggested his next fight could be an MMA fight, having signed with the Professional Fighters League earlier this year. He appeared to offer Diaz the first dibs as his opponent, but kept it broad enough for the entire MMA community.

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“I want $10 million. PFL, that’s the offer,” Paul said. “Let’s turn it back in MMA. Make it fair. I won one, now it’s your chance in your own territory. MMA, let’s do it.”

Paul also said he would do a rematch against Tommy Fury, who defeated him via split decision in February, denying him his first win over a person with “boxer” as the first job on their Wikipedia page. And there’s always another MMA fighter of at least moderate fame looking for a payday.

Or maybe José Ramírez is available.

Here’s how the fight unfolded:

Nate Diaz vs. Jake Paul main card odds, results

• Catchweight (185 lbs): Jake beats Paul. Nate Diaz by unanimous decision (97-92, 98-91, 98-91)
• Women’s Featherweight Championship: Defeats Amanda Serrano. Heather Hardy by unanimous decision (99-91, 100-90, 100-90)
• Super Middleweight: Defeats Chris Avila. Jeremy Stephens by unanimous decision (59-55, 59-55, 60-54)
• Lightweight: Ashton “H2O” Sylve def. William Silva by KO at 2:59 from R4
• Women’s Super Middleweight: Shadasia Green def. Olivia Curry by unanimous decision (99-91, 100-90, 100-89)
• Welterweight: Defeats Alan Sanchez. Angel Beltran by unanimous decision (77-75, 78-74, 79-73)

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