Former Bellator and ONE Championship titleholder and UFC veteran Ben Askren has agreed to box YouTube sensation Jake Paul.
Why? Because they Triller is backing a dump truck full of money to his front door, that’s why. Triller is the promotional company behind the recent Mike Tyson comeback against Roy Jones Jr.
Paul fought his second professional boxing match on the undercard of the Tyson vs. Jones card, knocking out former NBA star Nate Robinson in the second round.
After defeating Robinson, Paul used his platform of millions of social media subscribers and followers to try and lure Conor McGregor into a fight. That, of course, fell flat.
He tried to goad McGregor teammate and Bellator fighter Dillon Danis into a fight. That was also a non-starter.
His brother, fellow YouTube sensation and celebrity boxer Logan, inked an exhibition deal to face Floyd Mayweather in February.
How Ben Askren vs. Jake Paul came together
Jake Paul finally gained traction by taking shots at Ben Askren, who retired primarily because of health issues following back-to-back losses to Jorge Masvidal and Demian Maia under the UFC banner.
Askren finally agreed when Triller made its offer, which he says is more money than he’s ever been paid before for a fight in his career.
Askren has never fought in a professional boxing match, but he did box in the backyard in high school. Now he gets to step into the ring and get paid for it.
While he may not be a professional boxer, it’s not like he’s never trained in the discipline. It’s an integral part of mixed martial arts, a sport in which he has been a champion in two different organizations.
“I did this for free a whole bunch of times in high school and now they want to pay me a whole bunch of money. I thought this was just fun. I did this for a fun time. I think combat is fun,” Askren told TMZ Sports.
“Why wouldn’t I do this again if I’m getting paid a whole bunch of money? When I thought about it that way, the answer to me was obvious.”
Askren doesn’t understand why people think Jake Paul is a good boxer
“I don’t know why people actually think he’s good. I watched the Nate Robinson fight. I thought, ‘Holy s–t, these guys are bad.’ They’re really bad,” Askren said.
“So I really don’t see why people think he’s good at boxing. He’s a YouTube star who decided he wants to do a few boxing matches. He’s not a boxer.”
When they step in the boxing ring on April 17, Askren believes Paul is in for a rude awakening for thinking he can actually box.
“It won’t be more that I hit him and he goes down, but over the course of the eight rounds, he realizes, ‘Holy s–t, I’m in a real fight. I don’t really like this. I’m just some spoiled rich kid. I’m just gonna find an easy way out.’ It’s gonna be like a TKO, maybe round six, round seven. Something to that effect.”
The Askren vs. Paul fight will take place under the Triller Fight Club banner. It will serve as the main event, airing on pay-per-view. The location has yet to be finalized.
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