Former Bellator and ONE welterweight champ Ben Askren has responded to a challenge from YouTube star turned boxer, Jake Paul.
Paul is slated to box former NBA player Nate Robinson on the main card of this Saturday’s Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. card. Ahead of the fight, the YouTuber set his sights on future fights with Askren, Jorge Masvidal, and Conor McGregor.
“That level of competition is harder than what these MMA guys are bringing,” Paul told Barstool Sports. “These MMA guys have to go into the gym and have to focus on elbows and kicks and jiu-jitsu and takedowns and takedown defense and all this extra stuff. I’m only boxing. So, when they come into the boxing ring, my skillset is higher than theirs right now. I’m ready for these guys right now. So, Ben Askren, Masvidal, the McGregors they’re going to get the smoke and people will see. I have to prove myself. I’m talking a lot. I know I’m talking a lot but it’s because I’m confident.
“So, November 28 it will be the first steppingstone of ‘wow he beat an actual athlete.’ Then after that, once I take down a professional MMA fighter,” Paul added. “People will be like, I think that’s when people will turn their heads and be like ‘ok, this kid wasn’t just saying sh*t to blow smoke.’”
Speaking on MMA Fighting’s What the Heck podcast, Askren responded to this challenge from Paul. While Askren, a former Olympic wrestler, concedes that boxing has never been his strength, he’s confident he could beat Paul in that arena.
“Jake Paul wants to box me,” Askren said. “I don’t know, I’m not a boxer but I could beat up a bum YouTube celebrity.
“It would be something to do because you could say I did it,” Askren added. “I don’t gotta go box f*ckin Roy Jones and get my ass whooped or nothing. But I could box some YouTube bum and get paid for it? What a tremendous livelihood.”
While Jake Paul rose to fame through his YouTube antics, he is 1-0 as a pro boxer, having knocked out Ali Eson Gib in his debut earlier this year. He’s also competed in amateur boxing matches.
Who do you think would win a boxing match between Jake Paul and Ben Askren?