YouTube star Jake Paul and former UFC fighter Ben Askren are set to collide in a professional boxing match on April 17.
Per ESPN, who spoke with Triller founder Ryan Kavanaugh, this professional boxing match will headline the next Triller Fight Club card. The fight will be contested over eight rounds in a twenty-by-twenty ring. Paul and Askren will wear ten-ounce gloves.
The card will reportedly air on traditional pay-per-view platforms, but the location of the event has not yet been made official.
Ben Askren is the former ONE Championship and Bellator welterweight champion, but most recently competed in the UFC, where he went 1-2 with a submission win over Robbie Lawler, a knockout loss to Jorge Masvidal, and a submission loss to Demian Maia. After his loss to Maia, he announced his retirement from mixed martial arts.
Evidently, however, his fighting days are not over.
In Jake Paul, Askren will meet 24-year-old who rose to prominence as a YouTuber, but has recently been making waves in the boxing world. Paul most recently stepped through the ropes for a fight with former NBA player Nate Robinson, who he defeated with a brutal, one-punch knockout.
“I know Jake Paul is enjoying pretending he is a fighter,” Askren told ESPN. “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.”
Paul had previously called for fights with other MMA stars like Conor McGregor and Dillon Danis, but ultimately it was Askren that signed on the dotted line.
“Ben Askren is a two-time NCAA champion, a world champion in two different global mixed martial arts organizations and has less losses on his record than Conor McGregor,” Paul told ESPN.
“Me, on the other hand, I started boxing two years ago and I’m still going to knock his ass out faster than Masvidal. These MMA guys think because they throw punches they know how to box. The world complained because I knocked out a basketball player and not a real fighter. So now I’m giving the people what they want by taking on a ‘real fighter.’ After Ben Askren is added to my knockout meme collection, what can anybody say? Thank you to Triller Fight Club for giving me the platform to once again put a man to sleep. April 17, it’s lights out for Askren.”
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