Jake Paul is looking to add another quick knockout to his resume when he takes on his most ‘serious opponent’ to date in Ben Askren on April 17.
Paul has respect for Askren’s accomplishments in the world of MMA and collegiate wrestling but doesn’t think those skills will translate to the boxing ring, predicting a first-round KO against the former ONE FC and Bellator welterweight champion.
“I’m expecting a quick knockout,” Paul told MMA Junkie’s Mike Bohn in a recent interview. “I don’t see him making it out of the first round. I know he’s tough. I know he’s going to work hard. He can get whoever he wants to train him. People forget that Floyd Mayweather was calling Nate Robinson almost every day to give him tips and advice on boxing, and guess what? Floyd’s not getting in the ring. Freddie Roach is not getting in the ring for Ben. Tyron Woodley isn’t getting in the ring for Ben, and by the way if he did, I would beat the sh*t out of Tyron Woodley. It’s a loser training another loser. He can get whoever he wants. It’s still going to be a quick night. He can train as hard as he wants. It doesn’t matter. My athleticism, my speed, my power, my accuracy is too much for these guys to handle.”
“This guy is 19-2 (in MMA), he has less losses than (Conor) McGregor, he’s a two-time NCAA Division wrestling champion, he’s an Olympic athlete,” Paul said of Askren. “I wanted to challenge myself. I know this is a serious opponent. It’s going to be a movie. Eventually I want to fight Conor McGregor – I want to show the MMA world, ‘Be careful before you come over here and try to box us.’ You saw what Floyd did to McGregor. You’re going to see what I do to Askren.”
Paul, a famous YouTuber who made the transition to professional boxing in 2020, expects Askren to work the clinch but has been training with Jorge Masvidal and is confident in his ability to counter ‘Funky’ on the exit. Masvidal KO’d Askren with a flying knee in 5 seconds to break the record for the fastest KO in UFC history at UFC 239.
“(Masvidal) said, ‘Look, Ben is going to try to hang onto you and wrestle you and clinch you and try to wear you out,’” Paul said. “We were just working on clinch drills and fighting on the inside, and he was trying to show me how to knock out Ben faster than he did. So, we’ll see what happens. I might go running at Ben right in the first two seconds to try to break (Masvidal’s record). But Masvidal is great. He’s very supporting. He’s always been my homie and supported me, and that goes both ways. I’m excited to see if I can knock out Ben faster than Masvidal.”
Askren vs. Paul will take place under the Triller banner on April 17 at a TBD location.