Ben Askren believes he’s learned enough in his 11 weeks of training in boxing for him to stop YouTuber Jake Paul in the 7th round this Saturday night on Triller pay-per-view at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta.
Askren, 36, didn’t look in great condition on Friday in weighing in at 191 lbs. He was clearly carrying around 20+ lbs of extra weight around his midsection, but that may not matter. Askren isn’t facing a real boxer, which should make things easier for him.
Being a little overweight probably won’t matter because this fight has early knockout written all over it.
Jake has carefully picked easy opponents in his two fights as a pro. He fought another Youtuber, Ali Eson Gib, in his debut in 2020 and then defeated a former NBA player Nate Robinson in his second fight as a pro last November.
Jake Paul weighed in at 191.5 lbs and looked in excellent shape.
Light welterweight contender Regis Prograis weighed in at 143 lbs, while his opponent Ivan Redkach came in at 142. Those to have spared before, according to Prograis. The fight isn’t expected to be competitive.
The former UFC fighter at Olympic wrestler Askren admits that he’s not a great boxer, but he feels he’s a world-class learner, having competed at the highest levels as an athlete in two different sports.
Askren believes he’s learned enough in the short period of time that he’s been training at boxing to defeat the 24-year-old Jake Paul, who he views simply as a YouTuber and former poor high school wrestler. Jake hasn’t proven himself to be a great athlete like he has.
Jake says Askren is underestimating him
“I see a guy that is underestimating me; I see a guy that is taking this as a joke,” said Jake Paul after the weigh-in. “This is the last 24 hours that we have to hear Ben Askren.
“This one means a lot to me. We’ll see, but I don’t think he makes it out of two rounds. I mean, look at the guy.
“He’s got a beer belly. He clearly didn’t take training camp seriously. We all did the talking and entertainment s***, and now it’s time to let the fists fly,” said Jake.
Asken was coming off an injury that kept him from training for a long time. That obviously explains the “beer belly” that Jake is talking about.
Askren predicts 7th round knockout
“I thought Jake Paul’s cheering section was quite rude. We got the legendary Michael Buffer up here, and these mother f**** were interrupting him. That was terrible, rude, guys,” said Askren after the weigh-in. “7th round TKO,” said Ben in predicting a stoppage of Paul.
Askren might be selling himself short in predicting a knockout by the seventh. There’s a high chance that Jake will gas out in the first couple of rounds and then fall apart shortly afterward.
With Askren nailing Jake with short power shots on the inside, he’ll likely stop him by the third.
Ben suspects Jake won’t last in boxing
“I’m not trying to become famous. That’s the most negative thing from me winning on Saturday,” said Ben Askren. “It’s not a place I want to be.
“I feel a little bit different on the street. I get stopped 10 times. I’m kind of a bit antisocial, so I actually don’t love it. I got my 11 actors in my house, and I have no neighbors. Betting on this fight is really risky.
“I can’t figure his angle,” said Askren in reacting to Jake, saying he’d like to wrestle him. “If he wants to wrestle, we can wrestle.
“I can still wrestle high-level people now and be very, very competitive if not beat them.
“The notion that I couldn’t pin a bad high school wrestler. He wasn’t even good in high school wrestling. The notion that I could pin him in 20 seconds is hilarious.
“I don’t know what he’s angling at there, but the one thing it does make me think, which I always thought and this would be further proof, that he realizes he doesn’t have a future in boxing.
“If your goal is to become a great boxer, your goal isn’t to take a few months off to wrestle somebody. I just think back to my time. I’m a world-class athlete, and he’s Jake Paul.
“I remembered my time in 2010, I tried to do wrestling and mixed martial artists, and it sucked. I wasn’t optimal in either one because I was splitting my time. So I don’t see the angle there,” said Askren.
It is baffling what Jake is driving at with him wanting to wrestle Askren. Even if a knack for wrestling, it would take Jake years to develop his grappling ability to compete with Askren.
You have to start early with wrestling to get really good at it, and you have to have the ability to start with. Askren would literally pin Jake within seconds in a wrestling match, and it wouldn’t be entertaining for the fans to watch something like that.
Askren has learned quickly how to box
“My whole premise is, I understand that I suck at this, but I am a world-class athlete, despite the fact that I don’t look like it,” Askren continued.
“Sometimes, you can’t judge a book by the cover. And I’m a world-class learner.
“I know how to learn things really well. You give me 11 weeks to try this, and I’m going to be way better. That’s what you guys saw yesterday,” said Ben.
It appears that Askren’s trainers have to teach him the Shawn Porter smothering style to negate Jake’s punching power. That style is perfect for Askren. It goes well with his grappling background, and it’s a style that will minimize Jake’s punching power entirely.
Ben rates Jake’s trash-talking ability as elementary level
“Frankly, it’s been a blood bath if we’re talking trash talk,” said Askren about the verbal back and forth he’s had with Jake Paul. “It’s not even a 10-8; it’s more like a 10-7.
“I haven’t even seen a 10-6 in mixed martial arts, but it’s something like that.
“He only picks the lowest hanging fruit because the average age of his audience is thirteen and a half,” said Askren about the young viewing audience that tunes in for Jake’s videos on Youtube.
“The lowest hanging fruit isn’t going to work with me. You’re going to have to come with something creative and something intelligent. He just has lacked the ability to do so,” said Ben Askren.
You can tell from watching the verbal exchanges between the two that Jake operates at a more primary level. It’s been too easy for Askren to get the better of Jake with his trash-talking.
At times, it looks like Jake has been slow in mentally processing the things Askren has said to him. It’s like a college student exchanging trash talk with someone in elementary school.
Jake is either purposefully dumbing down what he says to suit his young audience, or he’s functioning on a lower level.