For the first time in his fighting career, Jake Paul got a real test.
Paul beat ex-UFC champion Tyron Woodley on split decision Sunday, and the exuberant YouTube star climbed to 4-0 as a professional boxer.
The scorecards were at 77-75, 75-77, and 78-74, with two judges picking Paul.
The scores were somewhat controversial considering it looked like Paul had the upperhand in total rounds.
"Where's that judge at?" Paul said in response to his split decision vistory. "I don't know what they're looking at. But still got the victory," Paul said, according to MMAFighting.com.
The fight, scheduled for eight three-minute rounds, was contested at cruiserweight. It had lots of buzz and anticipation. The two fighters understandably did not touch gloves.
.@TWooodley tags Paul in round 4 #PaulWoodley pic.twitter.com/8j9Gnh9jJD — SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) August 30, 2021
Paul was up against what was widely seen as his most difficult opponent yet in the 39-year-old Woodley, a former UFC welterweight champion who packs power in both hands.
Paul now has registered wins over two MMA fighters, a former NBA player and a fellow YouTube celebrity. It was Paul's first fight that went the distance.
The 24-year-old social influencer-turned professional boxer said Woodley was a tough opponent and that his legs felt weird during the bout.
"I have nothing but respect for him. There's no hard feelings. This is a dream come true," Paul said, referring to the Hall of Famer, Woodley.
For his part, Woodley did not agree with the judges' decision and demanded an immediate rematch after the fight.
Woodley said he felt like he won the fight. "Jake was a great opponent. F*ck the (Tommy) Fury fight, me and Jake can run it back," he said.
The slugfest, which was held at the Rocket Mortgage Field House in Cleveland, Ohio, marked the start of a multi-fight deal between Paul and Showtime.
Showtime aired the pay-per-view brawl. The contract, if sealed, could be worth tens of millions of dollars to Paul.
Meanwhile, Paul has been pushing for a fight with Conor McGregor for some time now, but it seems McGregor has his own issues to deal with.
Paul suddenly looks like the real deal he's always wanted to become after sharing the ring with Woodley.