Jake Paul tried valiantly to goad Conor McGregor into a boxing match over the past few months, but after McGregor’s loss to Dustin Poirier — and with McGregor looking for his next boxing fight to be with Manny Pacquiao — the YouTube star turned boxer has found another former UFC fighter to step in the ring with him.
ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reported on Tuesday morning that recently retired Ben Askren has agreed to fight Paul on Triller Fight Club pay-per-view on April 17, with a card that, much like the Mike Tyson-Roy Jones Jr. card from late last year, will feature a mixture of celebrity fights and actual fighters from boxing and MMA. It will be an 8-round fight with the anticipated weight class being 185-190 pounds — which isn’t a real boxing weight class, but, then again, that’s never stopped Paul before. Paul, of course, gained more notoriety for his knockout of Nate Robinson on the Tyson-Jones Jr. undercard, and has decided after two bouts against non-fighters he’s ready to take on the real thing.
— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) January 26, 2021
As for Askren, he retired in late 2019 after two consecutive losses, citing a hip injury among other things, but UFC allowed him to take this fight despite remaining under contract. Askren told Helwani that he plans on putting Paul’s boxing “dreams to an end,” in this fight.
“I know Jake Paul is enjoying pretending he is a fighter,” Askren said. “I think on April 17 he is going to have a rude awakening to what being a fighter is really like. Jake has led a privileged life and doesn’t really know what the meaning of being a fighter is. I’m going to put his dreams to an end.”
The full card will be unveiled in the coming weeks, and given Paul’s status as a villain you can be sure plenty will tune in hoping to see Askren come through on his promise to deliver a rude awakening.