This Saturday, YouTube sensation and celebrity boxer Jake Paul will face former Bellator and ONE champion Ben Askren in a boxing match a Triller Fight Club: Paul-Askren. It’s a fight that has generated a lot of strong opinions from the MMA community regarding Paul’s chances of beating an actual combat sports athlete in a fight, and with the bout just days away, the former Disney Channel star took the time to respond to the numerous high-profile fighters doubting him.
“I think it’s hilarious,” Paul told True Geordie. “Again, I have the ace up my sleeve and these guys don’t know what I’m capable of. They don’t know how hard I can hit.
“Sure, Ben has a great chin, he’s been hit by Robbie Lawler a couple of times but this guy is coming off of a knockout, coming off of a loss and to sit here and think that this old guy Ben Askren - for people to say he has better cardio than me or that I’m gonna get tired is absolutely hilarious. Ben Askren can’t work as hard as me in one practice. My one practice is harder than his whole entire training camp.”
Over the last few years, Paul, who doesn’t have a combat sports background, has pivoted into boxing, first fighting on the undercard of his older brother Logan Paul, who fought in a highly publicized grudge match with fellow YouTuber KSI. Jake Paul won by fifth-round TKO. Following that, Paul turned professional against another YouTuber, AnEsonGib, winning by first-round TKO. Last fall, Paul returned to boxing for his second professional bout, this time against former NBA star Nate Robinson where Paul delivered his most impressive performance yet, a first-round KO, which eventually set up this fight with Askren.
It’s evident that Paul is steadily improving in his boxing skills but many believe the fight with Askren is a horse of a different color entirely. Though Nate Robinson was previously a high-level athlete, he had no combat sports training and thus was on equal footing with Paul. Askren, however, has been wrestling his entire life and training MMA for well over a decade. He may not be the greatest striker to ever step in a cage, but he has a lot more experience than Paul, which has led many to believe this is a bridge too far for the outspoken personality. Paul, however, feels this is much like the Nate Robinson fight in that though Askren has fought many times before, he’s never competed in boxing.
“I believe he’s gonna be tough but at the end of the day this is boxing and he can’t take me down after I start cracking him,” Paul said. “He can try and come in and clinch me, he can try and hold on but he’s gonna get warned for that right off the bat. You can’t just hold onto people in boxing. It’s a very different sport than MMA and anyone who truly understands both sports should understand that...
“Actions speak louder than words and I’m just gonna prove it to people... You guys are in for a rude awakening. You’re gonna see.”
Askren for his part has also acknowledged that boxing and MMA are entirely different sports, however, Askren isn’t entirely unversed in boxing and now knowing he is going into a standup fight, Askren has been posting videos of his training sessions where he can focus exclusively on preparation for the bout this weekend. There have been mixed reactions to how Askren has looked in these videos but for Paul, it doesn’t matter at all.
“I don’t care about it, to say the least,” Paul said. “It doesn’t really matter to me what he’s doing, and that is sort of my point... I don’t care what Ben Askren is doing. I don’t care about what Ben Askren does on April 17, I don’t care what his game plan is, I don’t care about his skills, because anything that he does, I will have an answer to. I’ve sparred against better fighters than him this whole entire camp. Every single person that I’ve sparred in this camp is better than Ben Askren and quite literally, April 17 will be the easiest ‘training session’ from the whole entire camp.
“Every single day of this camp will be harder than what the actual fight night is. I’m going to go in there and fight someone who is a lesser opponent than all these guys I’ve sparred. I’m going to drop him in six minutes or less and I’m going to f*****g walk out of the arena and that’s that.”
Paul and Askren face each other Saturday night at the Mercedes-Benz stadium in Atlanta, GA. Paul is currently a -130 favorite over Askren.
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I can be ready by July 10th— Kevin MTP Lee (@MoTownPhenom) April 12, 2021
Nick out here riding his bike and ripping joints.
The problem with this is that Dana would never do that.
I don’t know who to believe, the guy who is widely viewed as a standup individual and has spend his free time growing a charity to help children and communities all over the world, or the dude who has been repeatedly arrested for myriad offenses. It’s impossible to know who is in the wrong here. . .
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
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