Saturday night sees the latest ‘boxing’ match between former child actor and social media star Jake Paul, who takes on former MMA star Ben Askren in his latest bout.
I call it ‘boxing’ simply because Jake Paul, brother of Logan Paul, has earned his fame as a YouTuber and on other social media platform where he has amassed millions of followers. He explained though that as a competitive sportsman at college, where he wrestled and played basketball amongst other sports, he wanted to get back into sports.
Boxing it seemed offered him that opportunity.
When his brother Logan Paul boxed fellow YouTube star KSI twice, drawing in huge numbers for an amateur match up in 2018 (the first fight ending in a draw, before KSI won th second fight) Jake Paul also boxed on the undercard against KSI’s brother.
While Logan may have lost, Jake won his fight by a fifth round technical knockout.
While Logan has not fought again since his loss to KSI, Jake Paul has continued boxing and has been training ever since. He has since turned professional winning his first fight against another fellow Youtuber in AnEsonGib in Miami.
The fight was short-lived with Paul emerging as the winner via TKO early in the first round.
Second Bout Against NBA Star
Although an inexperienced boxer with no real pedigree, Paul’s status as a social media star ensured that his second fight would be a high profile one, on the undercard of the Mike Tyson v Roy Jones Jr exhibition match.
His opponent would be ex NBA star Nate Robinson. Paul once again won the fight, knocking Robinson down in the first round and then knocking him out with 1 minute 24 seconds gone of the second round.
Both Paul’s wins had come against non-boxing or fighting specialists, but that would change for his third fight.
After stoking the flames on social media for some time, in December 2020 it was announced that Paul would face a real fighting star in former MMA and ONE Welterweight champion Ben Askren. The date for the fight was set for the 17th April in Atalanta.
UFC President Dana White has gone on record saying he would bet $1 million dollars that Jake Paul would lose the fight to Askren, to which Paul has reportedly doubled the wager, backing himself to win against a former world champion.
Askren’s MMA record is impressive. Out of 22 bouts, he has 19 wins, 6 by knockout, 6 by submission and 7 by decision. He started his career as a welterweight before moving up to middleweight later in his career.
Askren retired from MMA in November 2019, but he has since opted to come out of retirement to face Jake Paul on Saturday night.
Who Wins Out Of Paul V Askren?
Perhaps surprisingly, DraftKings are offering the same odds on Paul or Askren to win the bout of -115.
That seems a little strange considering that Paul has fought just two YouTube stars and a former NBA Basketball player in his career, while Askren is a former MMA world champion and has spent his life dedicated to boxing and MMA.
Whether the bookies think that not being able to use his MMA skills will be to the detriment of Asken remains to be seen. However, he would not have become an MMA champion without at least a modicum of boxing ability.
I don’t really think this is a contest. While Jake Paul may have dedicated himself to his boxing career, I think he is massively overestimating his skills here. Askren could and should win and I think that if he does, hopefully that may make Paul come to his senses.
The last thing anyone wants is for the youngster to get hurt and the more he moves up in quality of opponent, the more likely that becomes.