Some in the MMA world may still be sleeping on Jake Paul’s skills in a boxing ring, but Georges St-Pierre isn’t going to be one of those people.
St-Pierre was asked to break down Paul’s upcoming boxing match with Tyron Woodley in a recent video posted to Tristar Gym’s YouTube account. And though he stopped short of making an official prediction, St-Pierre did indicate that he likes Paul’s chances against the former UFC welterweight champion ahead of their Aug. 28 bout.
“He could, definitely,” St-Pierre replied when asked if Paul could win. “It’s a different sport. In MMA I would say no, but in boxing he’s much bigger than Tyron Woodley, and also he trains very hard. I’m not saying that’s what’s going to happen, but I think he definitely can do it.
“I’m not one of the haters, and [Paul] actually is a very nice guy.”
St-Pierre went on to elaborate about the challenges Woodley could face crossing over into a brand new sport after a 12-year career spent mixing the martial arts.
“It’s a different sport,” St-Pierre said. “When I was training when I was world champion, I was boxing with some great amateur boxers that, they were not world-class amateurs but they were great amateur boxers, and it was good training. It’s a completely different sport, and just to put that into perspective, I believe if you would allow dirty boxing in boxing, you would have a total different set of champions. Because you change a rule, you change the game. Woodley has more experience in combat sports than Jake Paul, but it’s a different game. It’s interesting. As a fan, I’m going to watch it for sure.”
St-Pierre added that he expected Paul to defeat longtime MMA veteran Ben Askren when the pair fought on April 17. A lifelong wrestler, Askren lost via first-round knockout in less than two minutes — and safe to say, St-Pierre wasn’t surprised.
“I knew because I know people that were training at the same gym as [Paul],” St-Pierre said, “and they told me that he was training very hard. And I know that Ben Askren, because I know Freddie Roach, only went for a week to Freddie Roach’s and he was not doing great.”
Woodley (19-7-1) may have a better reputation as a puncher than Askren, but at age 39, his career is nearing its end. He recently exited the UFC on a four-fight losing streak that included blowout losses against Kamaru Usman, Gilbert Burns, and Colby Covington.
Woodley suffered a first-round submission loss to Vicente Luque in his final UFC appearance, although that fight was at least more competitive than the aforementioned three.
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