CLEVELAND — A giant robot, Raising Cane’s chicken fingers, Dude Wipes and “Gotcha hat.” Those are four things you’d never think would be a part of a boxing weigh-in. But with the Jake Paul-Tyron Woodley circus rolling through Paul’s hometown, culminating in their Showtime pay-per-view boxing match Sunday night, they didn’t necessarily feel out of place.
The former UFC welterweight champion and the YouTube sensation-turned boxer have been engaged in a heated war of words throughout fight week. When it was time for the two to hit the scales at the ceremonial weigh-in and look each other in the eye one last time, it was fully expected that there would be some kind of physicality.
PAUL VS. WOODLEY: Date, time, PPV price, odds & location for 2021 boxing match
Paul and Woodley went nose to nose for an extended period after Paul clocked in at 190 pounds and Woodley weighed in at 189.5 pounds. The height difference between the two was significant (Paul owns a 4-inch advantage), but the intensity between them was evenly matched.
Although tensions were high, the staredown didn’t produce anything out of the ordinary outside of Paul’s giant robot dancing in the background. That was, until BT Sport’s Ariel Helwani went to interview Paul. The 24-year-old was eating from a box of Raising Cane’s chicken fingers when Woodley approached with a handful of Dude Wipes, the baby wipes for men. The company has been a longtime sponsor of Woodley.
Paul smacked the wipes out of Woodley’s hand and immediately went for his hat in an effort to replicate the “Gotcha hat” moment with Floyd Mayweather ahead of his older brother Logan’s exhibition bout with the boxing superstar.
Paul came up short in his attempt and both camps spilled onto the stage. Cooler heads — and security — eventually prevailed. They thwarted another ugly display just days after a near-brawl at the final press conference that was prompted by a verbal altercation between Woodley’s mother and a member of Paul’s camp. Eventually, the camps went their separate ways.
All the tension will culminate in a highly anticipated fight that has thus far lived up to the hype as nothing short of an entertaining promotion.