Paulie Malignaggi feels Ben Askren can’t call himself a fighter again due to his five-second knockout loss to Jorge Masvidal.
Askren is retired from MMA competition but he will be competing in a pro boxing match against YouTube star Jake Paul. Askren never had a pro boxing match but he has far more combat sports experience than Paul. Paul has two boxing matches, both being wins over fellow YouTuber AnEsonGib and former NBA star Nate Robinson.
Speaking to The Schmo, Malignaggi, who is a former boxing world champion, said that Askren’s quick knockout loss to Masvidal back in 2019 shows that Askren can’t consider himself a true fighter (h/t MMAJunkie.com).
“He was a great wrestler from what I hear. But his striking was, from what I’ve seen, some of the most pitiful in combat sports, and you’re forcing him to use what he’s not good at. So you can technically call him a fighter. Personally, me, anytime you get knocked out in less than five seconds in any fight, you lose the ability to call yourself a fighter ever again. So I don’t think Ben Askren can ever call himself a fighter ever again – even if you fight.
“You may be somebody that fights, but you’re technically not a ‘fighter’ anymore because no fighter is getting knocked out in five seconds or less like he did. Jake Paul went from YouTuber, to ex-pro athlete to fighting somebody that fights. He’s yet to fight a fighter, but it’s progression.”
Askren and Paul will collide on April 17. The boxing event is being promoted by Triller.