Let the trash talk commence. Former UFC fighter Ben Askren criticizes his opponent Jake Paul before their upcoming bout on April 17.
The fighter didn’t mince words in his belief he was going to beat the YouTube star turned boxer. So far, Paul has faced off against YouTuber AnEsonGib (real name Ali Eson Gib) and former NBA player Nate Robinson. Paul knocked both of his opponents out during their match-ups. But this will be the first time that Paul goes up against someone who has previous fighting experience.
On Twitter, he wrote, “Its cute that Jake thinks he is a real fighter, Im gonna beat him up April 17.”
The YouTube star is down for the challenge, in part to shut up vocal critics. Some have criticized Paul as a pretend boxer or just using the platform to try to increase his celebrity image. While the date is set, organizers are still determining the venue for the duo’s fight.
Ben Askren Is a Former UFC Fighter
Askren has quite the resume when it comes to fighting, ticking many of the boxes Paul was looking for in an opponent. For one, Askren was a veteran in the UFC. But, believe it or not, this will be his first boxing match.
This will put them on somewhat more even footing versus Paul going up against a boxing pro. As Connor McGregor proved, prowess in the UFC doesn’t always equal the same in the boxing ring. Of course, McGregor did lose to one of the boxing greats, Floyd Mayweather.
Askren retired from the UFC and fighting last year after experiencing an injury. The fighter had to get a hip replacement, keeping him from competing. But Askren’s last few matches in 2019 ended in losses. He last fought Demian Maia in October 2019 and lost that bout.
Prior to that, Askren had a 19-0 record though. He’s won numerous awards for his fighting skills being a two-time NCAA wrestling champion, a 2008 Olympian, and a two-time Dan Hodge Trophy winner.
“I know Jake Paul is enjoying pretending he is a fighter,” Askren said. “I think on April 17 he is going to have a rude awakening to what being a fighter is really like. Jake has led a privileged life and doesn’t really know what the meaning of being a fighter is. I’m going to put his dreams to an end.”
While the full card for the event hasn’t been revealed, the fight will incorporate 10-ounce gloves in a 20 by 20 ring.