Jake Paul Ben Askren Win
Image Courtesy of Jake Paul - CC BY S.A 3.0
Boxing

Was Jake Paul’s Win Over Ben Askren For Real?

Jake Paul defeated former MMA fighter Ben Askren by a first round knockout in their much-hyped bout on Saturday night on Triller.

However, since then there has been speculation that things were not quite as they seemed. A number of commentators on social media have voiced their opinion that the fight was always destined to be a win for Paul.

Daniel Cormier, the former UFC Champion and a former Team USA teammate of Askren in the 2008 Olympic Team was just one of those who looked on a little suspiciously as the action unfolded.

Askren ‘Happy’ After Fight?

Much has been made of a video after the fight which appeared to show Askren walking back to his changing room, smiling and joking with his wife after the loss.

To which Daniel Cormier tweeted the following:

Cormier’s comments were echoed by others who felt that Askren was always going to lose the fight.

The former wrestling star had never boxed professionally before and he turned up to the weigh in looking out of shape for the contest, in contrast to Paul who had clearly been training hard for the fight.

Askren was a hand-picked opponent by Paul’s team for their fighter to face and given the amount of money that these bouts are generating, for Paul to lose would have risked seriously decreasing his future earning potential.

Estimates are that Ben Askren earned around $500,000 for his two-minutes work on Saturday night, considerably more than he earned in his three bouts in the UFC.

That amount does not include additional cash from Pay Per View sales on Triller.

Not Surprising

While much of the focus on whether Askren was really hurt by Paul’s punch or not, the fact of the matter is that it does somewhat seem that he was always destined to lose the fight.

It was abundantly clear by the condition he was in for the bout that he had not taken his preparation seriously for it. Then immediately after his loss, he announced his retirement to focus on coaching wrestling.

Albeit, now $500,000+ better off.

Jake Paul adds another W to the column and is now 3-0 in his fledgling career and he has already started calling out people that he would like to face in the ring. That includes Daniel Cormier.

The frustrating thing for Paul is that the knockout of Askren was a good shot, albeit against an opponent that had limited boxing ability and certainly only a rudimentary boxing defence.

A better-quality opponent would likely not have fallen for the overhand right that ended the contest.

Unfortunately for Paul, we did not see enough of him in the fight to make a legitimate judgement of his talent and ability (or lack thereof). Sure he won the contest, but if he was always going to land the win, then the question was simply a matter of how that would happen.

Money Not The Best Route To Boxing Success

Paul’s ability to earn money for fighters is one thing and it is this which is making a lot of fighters consider fighting him. Paul tweeted after the fight that there had been 1.3 million buys on PPV with $65 million dollars generated.

How much of that cash will be handed to Paul and Askren is not known.

However, it is enough for some big names to consider putting themselves forward to face Paul next and therein lies my worry.

Eventually Paul will fight someone who can box and who legitimately wants to get in the ring and beat him and that fighter will likely be at a very good level.

And if that is the case, then Paul will need to be careful not to get hurt.

Money can buy you many things, but a true boxing pedigree built up over years in the amateurs and then building a record as a professional is not one of them.

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