MMA fighter-turned boxer Ben Askren promised to show off his boxing skills against Jake Paul, boldly predicting he will beat up the YouTuber.
Askren vs. Paul was officially announced on Tuesday. The two will meet in the boxing ring on April 17 in a blockbuster PPV being promoted by Triller. It’s Paul’s third professional boxing match, while for Askren it’s his first boxing bout. Of course, Askren is an experienced MMA fighter, but he was always known for his grappling skills, not his striking. That’s why so many fans seem to think this might be a very bad idea for Askren, going in there against a younger fighter with a lot of power.
Askren, however, is confident in his skills. While he’s not a boxer by trade, Askren spent years training with Duke Roufus and strikers like Anthony Pettis at Roufusport, so he does have skills. Speaking to TMZ Sports, Askren said that he never had to show off his striking in MMA because he could just take his opponents down. He promises that he will show off his striking skills when he steps in there against Paul.
“My goal in fighting was never to box somebody. My goal was to get through the punches and kicks and get to the takedowns and 99% of the time that worked. Obviously, there is one time it didn’t work, unfortunately (against Jorge Masvidal). My training was very focused on that. That being said, obviously, I’m going to have to change up what I was doing striking wise a little bit. But listen, he’s a f*cking YouTube star. I’m going to beat him up,” Askren said.
Can Jake handle the Funk? pic.twitter.com/GkqWib7MAD
— Jason Deel (@Recoil_Deel) January 26, 2021
Askren admitted that he doesn’t have that true one-punch KO power, but he does think he has the volume striking attack necessary to TKO Paul in the later rounds.
“I have not been blessed with big power. I’m incredibly slow-twitch muscle fibers. So I don’t think it won’t be more that I hit him and he goes down. But I think it will be more like over the course of eight rounds he realizes, ‘Holy sh*t, I’m in a fight. I don’t really like this. I’m a spoiled rich kid. I’m just going to find an easy way out.’ It’s going to be a TKO. Round six, round seven, something to that effect,” Askren said.
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