Jake Paul won a unanimous decision against Nate Diaz in a cruiserweight fight on Saturday night.
Paul, the 26-year-old social media YouTube personality, who has turned himself into a prizefighter, clearly held the advantage for much of the 10-round fight. Diaz, a mixed-martial arts fighter who left the UFC in 2022, appeared on the verge of a knockout at various moments.
Paul (7-1) showed he was better conditioned throughout the fight as he bounced back from his first career loss — a split-decision against Tommy Fury in Saudi Arabia in February. The three judges scored this fight 97-92, 98-91, and 98-91.
“He’s tough, that’s what he’s known for,” Paul said of Diaz. “Of course (I expected to win the decision). I knocked him down.”
The 38-year-old Diaz, making his pro boxing debut, struck several blows near the end of the third round, briefly leaving Paul wobbly before the bell. Diaz continued his offensive in the fourth round, landing several jabs to the roars of the decidedly pro-Diaz crowd.
In the fifth round, however, Diaz appeared fatigued and Paul jumped on the opportunity. He sent Diaz briefly to the floor with a clean left hook before leveling successive blows to Diaz’s head later in the round.
Neither fighter scored big in the sixth round, though Diaz was battling puffiness in both eyes.
Diaz scored with a combination of punches in the seventh, and both fighters exchanged blows during a particularly eventful eighth round.
Diaz did plenty of showboating in the ring, taunting Paul in the ring at times and turning his back on him. He also mocked one of Paul’s punches in the ninth round.
However, Diaz looked like he was moments from being knocked out on several occasions. Even as he preened towards the crowd and away from Paul, Diaz appeared less and less steady on his feet throughout the later rounds.
Even in the 10th and final round, Diaz at times turned away from Paul and put both hands on the top rope, and shook his head derisively at Paul.
The win was Paul’s third against a former UFC champion. He beat Tyron Woodley with a one-punch knockout in December 2021 and Anderson Silva in a unanimous decision last September.
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