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Morning Report: Ben Askren believes ‘coward’ Jake Paul is avoiding boxing match with him

Last month, popular YouTube personality Jake Paul continued his pivot into boxing, knocking out former NBA slam dunk champion Nate Robinson in the co-main event of the Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. exhibition match. In the lead up to the fight, and in the aftermath, Paul talked explicitly about the plan for his boxing career and his hopes to bring more MMA fighters over into the sport. Paul threw out names like Conor McGregor, Dillon Danis, and Ben Askren as possible future opponents for himself, and not long after his win, Askren publicly accepted. Only now, things seem to have hit a snag.

Posting a video to social media, Askren suggested that Paul is backing out of the fight, noting that the YouTube sensation has gone radio silent since Askren publicly accepted.

“So let me give you a little recap of the situation,” Askren said. “I’m retired, coaching wrestling, doing some podcasts, buying some bitcoin. Enjoying life. I don’t want to really fight anybody! So in November, this jabroni, Jake Paul calls me out, puts up a poster with my name, ha ha. It’s kinda funny, whatever. No big deal. Well then, a couple weeks later, I get a couple of texts. Then a week after that I get some calls. Then I get an offer. Okay, this guy really wants to fight.

“Am I opposed to making some easy money beating up a YouTuber? Of course I’m not. Right? So what do I do? Sure, Jacob, I’ll fight you. No problem. I accept publicly on Twitter nonetheless. Since then, Jacob’s went silent. Jacob’s kind of a coward. Sorry guys, don’t think the fight is happening.”

There’s still plenty of time for this to get corrected though. Rumors had the fight taking place on March 28th in Los Angeles, which is obviously still a long way off. It’s also worth noting that Askren accepted Paul’s challenge shortly before Christmas and it could be nothing more than the holiday season putting things on the back burner for a moment. Still that hasn’t stopped Askren from continuing to take public shots at Paul.

Askren retired from MMA in 2019 due to a hip injury. He has since had surgery and said he would be willing to return for big money fights, and given his interest in the Paul matchup, it’s clear he thinks this one would be just that. However, he may be biting off more than he can chew as oddsmakers currently have Paul installed as a solid betting favorite over the former Bellator welterweight champion.


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