The infamous Jake Paul will go toe-to-toe with UFC veteran Ben Askren in the boxing ring in a pay-per-view fight that is sure to spark controversy.
It is the fight boxing buffs have been waiting for – the infamous Jake Paul will touch gloves with combat sports professional Ben Askren in April. Ben Askren, UFC fighter, will be the first professionally trained fighter to challenge Paul in the boxing ring. Paul is thus far undefeated, but Askren will look to end that trend on April 17.
Jake Paul began his professional boxing career nearly a year ago. In a DAZN-sponsored event, Paul knocked out a fellow YouTuber AnEsonGib in the first round. Even though he made quick work of his opponent, boxing fans voiced their doubts about the social media star’s legitimacy. Determined to prove his mettle, Paul intensified his training despite the many nay-sayers. Then, in November, Paul threw the right hook that was heard around the internet, effectively ending former NBA star Nate Robinson’s career. Since that victory, Paul has been relentless in his goading of UFC superstar Conor McGregor. Recently, it is Paul’s dream to defeat the Irishman in the boxing ring. McGregor has largely dismissed Paul’s invitations thus far. For his efforts, Paul has made himself the buzz of the boxing world, though most of his press has been negative. Plenty of UFC fighters, including McGregor’s teammate Dillon Danis and former Olympian Ben Askren, have downplayed Paul’s punching abilities and claimed the YouTube star wouldn’t last long against a real professional fighter. For Askren, he now has a chance to back his claims up.
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On Tuesday morning, ESPN reported the date is set for a Paul-Askren boxing bout on April 17. Triller Fight Club, the same club that sponsored Paul’s knockout of Robinson, is promoting the event, which will be exclusively PPV. Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren will be the main event of the night. The undercard fights are so far unannounced. The brawler will be Askren’s first official professional boxing match, but the former wrestling national champion seems unfazed by the new territory. He claims that “Jake Paul is enjoying pretending he is a fighter,” before saying he will provide Paul with “a rude awakening to what being a fighter is really like.” Undeniably, those are fighting words.
While the jury may still be out on whether or not Jake Paul is a real professional fighter, there is no doubt that he is a real professional trash talker. In regards to the fight, Paul claims he will “knock [Askren’s] *ss out faster than Jorge Masvidal,” referencing a lightning-quick TKO Askren suffered in July of 2019. Jake Paul ended his statement with a promise – “April 17, it’s lights out for Askren.” Pop the popcorn, people; this is going to be a good one.
For his lack of experience, Paul has proven impressive so far in the ring. He even earned compliments from GOAT scary man Mike Tyson after defeating Nate Robinson. Still, not even Paul can deny that neither of his past challengers could box like Askren. For many combat sports fans, the event represents a battle of boxing philosophies, pitting the upstart newbie against the seasoned professional. For Jake Paul, this is a dream match and just another step towards McGregor. For Ben Askren, the early favorite, the fight is a chance to halt Paul’s professional ascension and turn the YouTuber’s fighting dream into a nightmare.
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