MMA fighter Raush Manfio says Ben Askren has “no chance” in his upcoming boxing match with YouTube celebrity Jake Paul.
Paul and Askren are slated to collide in an eight-round pro boxing match on April 17. Ahead of the fight, Paul enlisted the help of Manfio to help him prepare for Askren, who went 1-2 in the UFC and is the former ONE and Bellator welterweight champion.
After putting in some sparring rounds with Paul, Manfio is quite impressed with the YouTuber’s ability.
“We did five rounds of pure boxing,” Manfio told MMA Fighting after training with Paul. “They had a referee there, it was all very professional. That kid works hard. He has a whole team working with him, not a bunch of yes-men. He trains really hard and he’s big, so I had to be alert at all times. It wasn’t easy. We trained hard.”
In terms of the matchup itself, Manfio says Askren’s chin will probably serve him well, but believes the former MMA champion has no legitimate path to victory.
“I believe Ben Askren can take a punch, but Jake Paul has knockout power,” he said. “If Askren goes in there to trade hands, he’s going down. No doubt. He’s going down. [Paul] has a powerful right hand, and he’s getting smarter in the ring, not getting scared or stuff like that, things you learn with time. I’m a professional MMA fighter since 2011 and I get mature as time goes by, you understand the sport, but [Paul] has firepower and that’s crucial.
“In my opinion, what is Askren going to do? For him to win, only if he gets Jake Paul tired. But how is he going to get him tired if he doesn’t have heavy hands? How is he going to hurt him? What is he going to do? I can only see Jake Paul winning by knockout or points, Jake Paul is far superior. I can’t see one weapon [Askren] can use. If he was like a Dan Henderson type of fighter with a powerful overhand, that would be a different conversation.
“[Paul] has knockout power and cardio. Meanwhile, [Askren] might have a chin but doesn’t have firepower to drop him, so I don’t see how Askren wins this match.”
What do you think of this assessment from Raush Manfio? Do you think Ben Askren has a shot against Jake Paul?