“The Problem Child” proved to be a big issue for Nate Diaz, as Jake Paul defeated the MMA star, who made his boxing debut, by a unanimous decision on Saturday night in Dallas.
This is Paul’s seventh career victory, moving his record to 7-1. Four of his last five fights have now gone the distance, this being the most rounds Paul has ever fought in his career.
The judge’s scoring was 97-92, 98-91, 98-91.
Diaz certainly got the moral victory, showcasing his nonchalant fighting style that he featured in UFC, with the crowd showing love every step of the way. But Paul was the victor when all was said and done.
Paul came firing right out the gate, throwing a big right fist to the temple of Diaz, who was clearly dazed once it landed early in the first round.
Paul had him on the ropes a couple of times, but we’ve seen Diaz take punches left and right throughout his career, so it was going to take more than a few to take him down.
It wasn’t until the fifth round when Paul landed a left hook that knocked Diaz on the canvas. Paul predicted a fifth-round knockout, but Diaz asked for 10 rounds in this fight, and he made sure it went the distance.
Diaz started bringing some fire in the fourth round prior to hitting the canvas, and Paul looked gassed for the first time in this one when he was peppered with jabs. When the bell rung, the momentum was starting to shift in favor of the Stockton, California native.
The crowd was definitely pro-Diaz, as Paul heard boos the second he walked to the ring. The crowd was even chanting “Diaz! Diaz!” in the third and fourth rounds to try to pump him up.
He used that in the eighth round, as he noticed he was pushing Paul back and started launching uppercuts and jabs toward his opponent. Fans erupted in the final 10 seconds when he pushed his head against Paul, who was clearly laboring as he headed back to his corner.
After back-and-forth shots in the ninth round, both fighters gave it their all in the 10th and final round. Diaz tried to jeer Paul in the ring, but Paul never gave in to the antics. Paul had a long clutch of Diaz, which the crowd booed immediately.
When the final bell rung, Paul and Diaz hugged it out, showing their respect of one another after a hard-fought bout.
Diaz is the fourth UFC fighter to face Paul, joining Ben Askren, Tyron Woodley (two fights) and Anderson Silva.
Paul suffered his first loss of his young boxing career to Tommy Fury, the younger brother of heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, in February on a split decision.
But it was Paul’s glove being raised at the end of this one, as he gets that winning feeling back in his corner.
Paul said that he would like to fight Diaz in the octagon in an MMA bout for their next meeting, which Diaz seemed to agree with.