Jake Paul is taking his upcoming boxing match with Ben Askren very seriously, as the YouTuber turned boxer has invited several MMA fighters to help him prepare for ‘Funky’ on April 17.
One of those fighters is Titan FC’s Raush Manfio (11-3 MMA) who, after five rounds of sparring with Paul says the 24-year-old will probably KO Askren if the latter tries to ‘trade hands’ on fight night.
“We did five rounds of pure boxing,” Manfio told MMA Fighting after training with Paul. “They had a referee there, it was all very professional. That kid works hard. He has a whole team working with him, not a bunch of yes-men. He trains really hard and he’s big, so I had to be alert at all times. It wasn’t easy. We trained hard.”
“I believe Ben Askren can take a punch, but Jake Paul has knockout power,” he said. “If Askren goes in there to trade hands, he’s going down. No doubt. He’s going down. [Paul] has a powerful right hand, and he’s getting smarter in the ring, not getting scared or stuff like that, things you learn with time. I’m a professional MMA fighter since 2011 and I get mature as time goes by, you understand the sport, but [Paul] has firepower and that’s crucial.
“In my opinion, what is Askren going to do? For him to win, only if he gets Jake Paul tired. But how is he going to get him tired if he doesn’t have heavy hands? How is he going to hurt him? What is he going to do? I can only see Jake Paul winning by knockout or points, Jake Paul is far superior. I can’t see one weapon [Askren] can use. If he was like a Dan Henderson type of fighter with a powerful overhand, that would be a different conversation.
“[Paul] has knockout power and cardio. Meanwhile, [Askren] might have a chin but doesn’t have firepower to drop him, so I don’t see how Askren wins this match.”
Paul is 2-0 in the boxing ring against unranked opponents while Askren — a former multiple-promotion MMA champion — will be making his professional boxing debut.
The eight-round matchup will take place under the Triller banner on April 17 at a TBD location.