Jake Paul got the better of Nate Diaz in a boxing match in Dallas, Texas last night, beating the former UFC fighter by unanimous decision after 10 rounds in the squared circle.
The 26-year-old Paul got off to a strong start, landing several hard punches that troubled the UFC veteran, putting him on the back foot.
The 38-year old Diaz is used to fighting at 155lbs or at most 170lbs in the UFC and certainly didn’t look at his best out there competing at 185lbs in his boxing debut, so it took a while to find his footing in the fight.
In fact, it wasn’t until the 4th round that Diaz started to pose some problems for Paul, pressing forward and finally beginning to piece together some combinations. However, that success was to be short-lived as in the 5th, Paul landed a left hook that sent Diaz staggering down to the canvas. He showed his famed toughness by quickly righting himself and getting back to work, but it was a big moment for Paul that swung the fight firmly in his favor heading into the second-half of the 10-rounder.
However, that didn’t prove a sign of things to come as Diaz continued to press forward undeterred in the rounds that followed, and though he was still boxing fairly comfortably Paul wasn’t able to hurt him in the same way.
In fact, though Diaz didn’t seem to be in the best shape his endurance did seem to be bringing him more into the fight by the 8th round as Paul’s pace slowed and he found some success with his dirty boxing on the inside and swatting combo’s. The 9th round had some more of the same, though Paul was keeping his feet under him and Diaz was either unwilling or unable at this late stage to really step up the gears and try to break Paul’s will.
To his credit, in the 10th round Paul seemed to still have some energy left and Diaz was wasting time showboating, and even half-jokingly caught Paul in a standing guillotine to serve up a late reminder that this wasn’t what he considered to be a ‘real fight’, and so the fight went to the scorecards, where Paul emerged as the comfortable winner via unanimous decision (97-92, 98-91 x2).
It was a fair result and Paul did look as if he is making some adjustments and sharpening up his boxing skills and stamina after his split-decision defeat against Tommy Fury back in February.
As for Diaz, he was able to show of his fighting spirit and impressive durability against the bigger man, so his stock doesn’t really seem to have dropped much from this result. That being said, as in the late stages of his UFC run it’s apparent his skills are eroding at this late stage in his career, and though he’s never been a clean technical boxer at the best of times he looked particularly awkward at times in the ring.
Afterwards both fighters signalled an interest in a rematch in MMA, which Paul has insisted must take place in the PFL, while Diaz appears set on the idea of a co-promotion, so it remains to be seen if it’ll actually happen.