Ben Askren isn’t exactly known for his striking but, one thing’s for sure, ‘Funky’ knows how to win.
With multiple MMA world titles to his name and a decorated career in collegiate wrestling, Alvarez thinks the YouTube boxing community could be overlooking Askren ahead of his highly anticipated boxing match with YouTube star Jake Paul on April 17.
Alvarez believes Paul is the better boxer but claims Askren has the heart of a winner.
“In actuality, do I feel like Jake’s a better boxer?” Alvarez told MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck in a recent interview on What the Heck. “After seeing Jake over the past year or so, kind of how committed he is and what he’s doing, yeah, I do feel like he’s a better boxer than Ben. But there’s some intangibles that you really can’t measure that have nothing to do with boxing. That’s like, Ben Askren, he’s just a winner in general. The guy’s been winning longer and knows how to win more than Jake Paul does. So you can’t disregard them kind of intangibles. Hodge Trophy winner, the list goes on and on. NCAA champion. Some of them things, them intangibles, you can’t disregard them.
“Do I feel like Jake’s a better boxer? Yeah. Do I feel like Ben Askren’s just a frickin’ winner altogether, yeah. And I’m not gonna disregard that. I’m looking forward to the spectacle. I’ll be tuning in.”
Alvarez is rooting for Askren to win because he knows a loss to a YouTube fighter in Paul would be devastating to the MMA community.
“It is because they know the consequences of Ben getting beat,” Alvarez said. “It’s gonna be this guy, YouTuber, claiming that because he beat Ben Askren that he was right and he can beat any MMA guy. He’s out there saying I’ll beat these MMA guys up because they don’t train boxing and he gets a win over Ben, he’s the worst guy to lose to. He’s gonna be as loud as ever.
“He’s gonna say, ‘See? I told you guys so.’ Oh man, it’s gonna be a bitter pill to swallow for a lot of fighters in MMA and a lot of the fans in MMA if this guy figures out a way to win.”
Askren is scheduled to take on Paul on April 17 while Alvarez will will return to ONE Championship to meet Moldova’s own Iuri Lapicus on April 7.