Ben Askren has put to bed any doubts that he took a dive against Jake Paul.
In the first round of their highly-anticipated boxing match, both men were feeling each other out but after landing a jab, Paul followed it up with a big overhand right that dropped the UFC veteran. The fight was then waived off, and many wondered if the fight was fixed, which Askren says was not the case.
“It definitely didn’t happen,” Askren said to ESPN of people saying he took a dive. “I got hit. The question I have for those people is, what do I gain by it? I told you guys what I made for this fight.
“It was a very nice paycheck,” Askren continued. “I’m also not destitute and poor. What do I gain by that? The answer is nothing. I would actually lose a lot. It’s not something that would ever cross my mind.”
Although Askren did get up after being knocked down, he did wobble and the fight was called. However, “Funky,” says he disagrees with the stoppage but wasn’t going to complain about it.
“I thought I was ready to fight,” Askren said. “I told the guy I was ready to fight. The last thing I’m going to do is blow up at a referee over what I think is not the right call. That’s just immature, and there’s no efficiency to it. It’s not going to solve anything. If anything, it’s going to get me fined by the commission.”
Entering the fight, Askren made it clear he didn’t think Paul was a good boxer, and despite losing in the first round, he still isn’t sold on Paul being legit.
“Maybe he’s good,” Askren said of Paul. “I don’t think so. I think I just didn’t defend the overhand right really well, and maybe he does land that punch hard. But it’s still TBD, because he’s gonna fight probably somebody who’s significantly better at boxing than I am. If he beats them, we’ll see.”
Who Paul’s next opponent will be is uncertain, but there will be no shortage of possible opponents after he beat Ben Askren.
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