Jake Paul returned to winning ways on Saturday night with a unanimous victory over Nate Diaz at a sold-out American Airlines Center. The YouTuber-turned-boxer was dominant during the bout against the ex-UFC star, who was making his maiden appearance in a ring rather than the octagon.
Paul, 26, is now 7-1 (5 KOs) since turning pro. That one defeat came on Feb. 26 vs Tommy Fury last time out.
After being beaten for the first time in Saudi Arabia, he was being doubted by some quarters, including by rapper Drake, who bet $250,000 on Diaz. However, Paul posted an impressive performance to triumph with relative ease.
The dominance was to such an extent that he was confident enough afterwards to agree to a £8m MMA rematch. Three judges sitting ringside all scored the bout in Paul’s favour.
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Two of David Sutherland, David Iacobucci and Chris Migliore, had the contest 98-91. The other gave Diaz an extra round and had it 97-92.
As well as on the cards, the post-fight punch stats, per Compubox, also reflect how Paul comfortably came out on top. He landed 174 total punches, compared to 143 for Diaz.
However, the long-time UFC fighter was marginally more accurate. He landed 36.5% of his punches thrown, with Paul slightly less successful at 35.4%.
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Not only did the victor land over 30 more punches, but he was also much more active throughout the ten rounds. Paul threw almost 100 more overall (491 vs 392).
The breakdown of the types of punches thrown also indicates their differing approaches to the fight. Diaz landed just eight jabs during the bout from the 45 he threw.
However, Paul was much more willing to keep the distance and threw 202 in total, landing 34. Diaz was instead happy to prioritize power punches.
The MMA star threw 347 such shots and hit Paul clean with 135. But crucially, despite a more measured approach with 289 power punches, Paul was more accurate and landed 140.
There was an almost 10% difference in their success with power punches in Paul’s favour, compared to the 1% edge Diaz had with jabs and punches overall.
The round-by-round stats also favour Paul. He was more accurate throughout the first six rounds and landed more shots in each one.
However, Diaz did grow into the bout and get less wasteful from the seventh round onwards. The sheer volume of punches landed continued to lean Paul’s way, though, barring the eighth.
Ultimately, the YouTuber was already well ahead on the cards by this point of the fight, especially after a fifth-round knockdown. A slow start from Diaz cost him as he just couldn’t hit Paul often enough.
Whether that would again be the case in any potential MMA fight is a different question. That is if a prospective rematch in the octagon happens between the two.
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