CLEVELAND – Renowned content creator and unbeaten pro boxer Jake “The Problem Child” Paul and former UFC champion Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley went face-to-face and continued their war of words during a heated final press conference as the two fight camps nearly came to blows Thursday before they settle their rivalry in the ring this Sunday, August 29 headlining a SHOWTIME PPV from Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.
Thursday’s press conference also featured the fighters who will be competing on the jam-packed lineup of undercard attractions. Puerto Rican star Amanda “The Real Deal” Serrano will defend her featherweight titles against super bantamweight champion Yamileth Mercado in the co-feature of the PPV telecast, which begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
Former world champion Ivan Baranchyk returns to take on unbeaten Cleveland-native Montana Love in a 10-round super lightweight fight, while U.K. stars Daniel “Dynamite” Dubois and Tommy “TNT” Fury make their U.S. debuts in separate bouts, as Dubois faces Juiseppe Angelo Cusumano in a 10-round heavyweight fight, while Fury duels Anthony Taylor in a six-round showdown.
In action taking place prior to the pay-per-view, undefeated Cleveland-native and 2016 U.S. Olympian Charles Conwell squares off against unbeaten Juan Carlos Rubio in a 10-round super welterweight tilt.
Tickets starting at $25 are still available via RocketMortgageFieldHouse.com.
Here is what the press conference participants had to say Thursday:
“When I started boxing, I didn’t think I’d be here this fast. My original goal was to fight Conor McGregor or Floyd Mayweather, because I knew I would have a big enough pay-per-view draw to do those things. Now I want to become world champion. I want to fight and beat Canelo Alvarez. This has been a fast, quick roller coaster ride, but I didn’t expect to be here. I just knew I loved fighting and I knew I was good at it.
“This is an exciting time. I’m bringing it home for Cleveland. We knew that when we teamed up with SHOWTIME, that this would be a huge event. This is turning into a historic moment.
“Tyron Woodley is ‘The Chosen One’, we chose him to get his ass beat. None of his accomplishments matter on Sunday night. I’m sending him into retirement and turning him into a meme. People are going to see all of my skills. People are going to be surprised. I haven’t shown anything yet. I might come out southpaw. This is my coming out party.
“It’s going to be another show on Sunday. I’m putting on another masterful performance and a boxing clinic. This guy is going to sleep and getting turned into another meme. Just like his friend Ben Askren. After Sunday, nobody is ever going to talk about Woodley ever again. He’s a speed bump on the road of my career.
“There’s no other fighter that’s 3-0 and taking fights against champions. I want challenges and I want to push myself. I was much more motivated in training camp because I know this is a dangerous opponent. I expect him to come out sharp and I expect this to be a fun one.
“I’m polarizing, I get it. I don’t care what people think. Most people aren’t like that. They’re scared to rub people the wrong way. Some people want to see me lose, but I’m here to stay.
“A fight against Tommy Fury makes sense. That’s a huge fight. It seems to be right in the palm of both of our hands. We do have to go out and perform on Sunday. I want to see how the U.S. crowd receives him. I want to see if he has that star power this whole entire week. He doesn’t have the big pay-per-view numbers that Tyron Woodley has, or even a Ben Askren. Those guys sold tons of pay-per-views. No one has seen a Tommy Fury fight.
“There’s no real respect between us. I’m going to show that winning a UFC championship doesn’t mean anything in the world of boxing.”
“I’m almost falling asleep over here listening to this guy. It’s disgusting how much of a clown people have to be to be recognized. He’s got the appearance of being about that action down, but I’m really like that.
“This is the fight game. You can say what you want to say and you can do what you think fighters do. Jake does all the things to build the fight, but we’re really here now. He’s getting hurt on Sunday.
“All the people around him have lied to him. They don’t want to lose their bag. They’re not pushing him. You can come out with that dumb robot, it doesn’t matter. You’re getting knocked out.
“I’m just really ready to fight. I don’t have any shenanigans or B.S. I should bring him some wipes to clean himself up when I knock him out on Sunday.
“He hasn’t shown me anything yet. Real recognize real. I don’t worry about what anyone on the outside is saying. I’m worried about bringing that action.
“I’m going crazy on Sunday. At the end of the day, it’s been a long time coming. I’m thankful for my team that’s supported me but I’m also thankful for everyone who counted me out. When everyone comes against you, it shows how powerful what you’re about to do is.
“I think in general with combat sports, one person does something and people want to replicate it. This is a real fight though. If you look at the way we’re built, this is a real fight. Some people took this lightly and that’s why they came up short against him. We’ve been training since before this fight was even signed.
“All camps have highs and lows. You have to fight through adversity. With me mentally, it was a lot easier when we were having fun. It was passionate and you had people watching your every move and monitoring your every step. I’m just very grateful to all my coaches. To me, this is just a lot of fun. I haven’t had fun in a long time, to be real. I loved this training camp. It was one of my most fun ever.”
“I want to thank Jake for putting his faith in me and pushing to get me on this card. This is going to be two champions going at each other and leaving it all in the ring.
“These belts are my babies. It’s going to be very hard for her to beat me and take these back to Mexico. She’s going home empty-handed. I thank Mercado for taking the fight, but she’s not winning.
“I train and fight to be the best in the world. I hope that people can acknowledge that the women are champions as well and that we work as hard as the men. I’m showing everyone that women’s boxing is great too.”
“I’m coming up in weight, but I’m one of the biggest fighters at 122. I’m not worried at all about going up a division for this fight.
“I’m very well prepared and I feel strong. I’m confident that I’m going to win on Sunday and prove that I’m up to the challenge. We’re going to surprise a lot of people.”
“This is my U.S. debut, so I want to look good and win in a devastating fashion. I’m a seek and destroy fighter and that’s what I’m bringing again.
“This guy is right for me and I’m ready for the fight. It’s going to be a spectacular debut and I’m going to announce my presence with a lot of power and skill.”
JUISEPPE ANGELO CUSUMANO
“We are both big power punchers and we’re exciting fighters. We like to fight and bang on the inside. There’s going to be a lot of punches thrown for as long as this lasts. That’s what we’re going to come out and do.
“It’s the heavyweight division. It only takes one punch. That’s what people love about this division. I can’t wait to get in the ring on Sunday night.”
“I’m excited to be here and fighting on this show. I learned a lot from my last fight. I put in a great training camp so that I can show my new weapons. I just need to take everything from my training camp and bring it into the ring.
“I think Jake Paul is very, very good for boxing. It’s good to have these famous guys join professional boxing because it helps the fighters. It’s good for promoting the sport. I don’t know what will happen in the fight on Sunday night. Jake Paul is young and he’s hungry. But Tyron Woodley is a tough guy. He’s a professional fighter and we will see.”
“A win is going to put the whole division on notice. They know I’m coming. I’ve worked with plenty of champions and been in plenty of camps. Now, everybody watching is going to see what I’m going to do.
“This fight means everything for my career. I’m introducing myself to the 140-pound division with my fight on Sunday. Beating an ex-champion will definitely put me in a whole new category.
“My city is behind me 100%. They know how I’m coming. We’re training hard and we’re excited for this. All of Jake’s fans are going to be my fans after Sunday.”
“Gervonta Davis came up to my weight. He got a title. Congratulations on that. Now, if he’s ready to keep it or not, that’s on him. But if he does keep it, we want the fight.”
“I’m very happy to be in Cleveland and performing for everyone. Everyone is very familiar with Tyson, and they’re about to learn all about what I bring. I’m coming with my own package and my own game and you’re going to see that on Sunday night.
“If Taylor thinks I’ve overlooked him, he’s dead wrong. I’ve been grueling for eight weeks like I’m fighting for the world titles. Sunday night, I’ll get the job done, and then I can think about what could be next for me.
“Anthony Taylor can’t get off his phone and stop doing autographs. I haven’t been on my phone in five weeks. I’ve been living and training like a demon. I don’t care about fame, and I don’t care about money. All I want is to be a world champion.”
“I know he’s overlooking me. Tommy is here just to face off with Jake Paul. But I’m here to fight. Don’t look down on me. Just because he beat up six bums, doesn’t mean he’s going to beat me up.
“He’s not going to stop me. He’s fought nobody. I’m not that guy you’re just going to run through. We’re not cut from the same cloth, and he’s not the same as his brother. He’s not ready for me.”
“It’s amazing to fight back at home in my city. I’ve had a lot of local support back here throughout the years and there are a lot of people here who haven’t been able to see me fight.
“To have all the support I’ve gotten leading up to fight, I’m just more ready than ever to put on a show and let everyone know what I’m about.”
JUAN CARLOS RUBIO
“It’s true that I haven’t fought anyone on Charles’ level, but I feel strong, I’m well prepared and I’m ready to give a show to the people of Cleveland.
“We’re going to see if he’s ready for the next level of competition. We won’t know until we step in the ring. But I’m definitely going to give it my all and give him a test.”
STEPHEN ESPINOZA, President, Sports & Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc.
“SHOWTIME has been in boxing a long time. We have a long history in the sport. But the thing about boxing is that it always has a way of surprising you. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, along comes someone like Jake Paul to upset the apple cart. I’m excited to see the sport innovate, change and evolve.
“I’m very proud of this card. We have some of the best fighters in the world on this card, from world champions to up-and-coming fighters and promising prospects. This card has a bit of everything.
“This card is filled with fighters who didn’t listen when they were told no. No one on this card has been handed anything. They’ve all beaten the odds. I’m proud to have every one of them on this card.
“The great thing about boxing, is that on some level, nothing matters until you get into the ring. To borrow a phrase, ‘boxing don’t lie’. Boxing is the ultimate truth-teller. When Sunday night rolls around, your resume and your following doesn’t matter. For all the hype and hoopla, make no mistake, these are fights. The purest form of competition. The great thing about boxing is, when two competitors enter that ring, each fighter gets a chance to rewrite their own history. It all comes down to that moment of truth on Sunday night.”
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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