Ben Askren says the jury is still out on Jake Paul’s boxing ability.
Askren and Paul are scheduled to collide on April 17. The bout will headline a card promoted by Triller. This will be Paul’s third pro boxing match and Askren’s first. With that said, the combat sports experience is in Askren’s favor.
During an interview with Metro, Askren said that due to the low-level competition Paul has faced, there’s no telling how good he actually is in the ring.
“We haven’t seen anything. The level of his competition was so low that it was almost impossible to tell if he is actually good at this. If there is one thing people respect about all fighters it’s the toughness to deal with adversity in battle and we have not seen that out of him. I don’t think he was hit hard by either one of those guys. They were so incredibly terrible at boxing. So we haven’t seen anything out of him yet.
“I didn’t realize how much people didn’t like Jake Paul until I tuned in and started listening to what people were saying about him. At best for me, it’s like 50 percent positive comments and 50 percent negative comments. That’s my persona. But everyone freaking hates Jake Paul.
“One of the things you have to realize about prizefighting is that the more recognition and scrutiny you can bring to yourself, the faster you are going to move up the ranks. When you look at the job, you have to look at all parts of the job. Is part of the job being good at fighting? Absolutely. But a part of the job is also figuring out how to promote yourself so you can advance much quicker.”
Askren hasn’t competed since October 2019. He was submitted by Demian Maia before announcing his retirement from MMA competition.