Jake Paul is taking a big step forward in his next boxing match. After knocking out former NBA guard Nate Robinson in November, Paul will fight a professional in April. Paul and Ben Askren will reportedly go head-to-head in an eight-round boxing match April 17, according to Ariel Helwani of ESPN.
The fight will serve as the main event for the next Triller Fight Club, according to Helwani, who said the fight was a “done deal.”
Jake Paul will fight Ben Askren in an eight-round pro boxing match on April 17, per Triller founder Ryan Kavanaugh. The fight will serve as the main event of the next Triller Fight Club card. Location TBD.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 26, 2021
The match represents a giant step up for Paul. Though Paul defeated Robinson in November, that fight was mocked by professional boxers and analysts. Robinson had little to no experience as a fighter going into the fight, and it showed.
That won’t be the case in April. Askren has a lengthy history as a fighter. Askren came up as a wrestler, competing at the 2008 Olympics. Following that, Askren became an MMA fighter. Over his career, Askren has compiled a 19-2 record. His two losses have come in his last two fights.
April’s fight will mark the first time Askren has stepped into the ring as a boxer.
Despite that, Askren believes he’s going to put Paul’s “dreams to an end,” according to ESPN.
«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.»
Jake Paul set his sights high after beating Nate Robinson
Paul wasted no time calling out better competition after beating Robinson. Paul initially set his sights on Conor McGregor, offering McGregor $50 million to fight. UFC president Dana White laughed at that idea, suggesting Paul get into the ring with Amanda Nunes, who was not opposed to the fight.
On Thursday, McGregor didn’t completely shut down the idea of a fight with Paul, saying “we’ll see what happens.” McGregor’s line of thinking could change after his loss to Dustin Poirier on Saturday. Following that fight, Paul lowered to his offer to McGregor to $10,000.
If Paul is still serious about a fight with McGregor, beating Askren could be the first step toward making that happen. If Paul can hold his own against a professional fighter, that would give him more legitimacy in the sport.
That doesn’t guarantee McGregor will take the fight, it only guarantees Paul will keep pursuing it harder.
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