Jake Paul has found his opponent for his next boxing match, and while he won’t be facing an actual professional boxer, it’s fair to say he’ll be taking a pretty massive step up in fighting competition.
Former Bellator welterweight (170 lbs) champion and UFC fighter Ben Askren will oppose the 24-year-old Paul on Apr. 17 in a pay-per-view main event, according to ESPN.
The fight will be set for eight rounds.
The 36-year-old Askren has a career record of 19-2 in mixed martial arts, and while he’s lost his last two fights — in 2019 against Jorge Masvidal and Demian Maia in UFC — he is a legitimate professional fighter, which is a big upgrade over the likes of YouTuber “AnEsonGib,” who had no business in a boxing ring, and former NBA player Nate Robinson, who had barely any more business in a boxing ring.
Askren is also no Conor McGregor as far as star attraction, but this is a fight where Paul really might be getting in over his head, and there should be some intrigue here.
Again, Askren is not a pro boxer, and his base is in wrestling, he’s not exactly some incredible, expert striker by MMA standards. But Paul has never fought anyone with any legitimate fighting experience, either. Askren has that. He’s not going to be a YouTube or basketball guy who is barely trained in defending himself or attacking someone for real.