One can’t help but have a bit of an out-of-body experience when talking about Jake Paul’s upcoming boxing match with former UFC fighter Ben Askren. To call the bout surreal would be an understatement of unforgivable proportions given that in essence, Jake Paul was making YouTube videos only a few years ago.
Some of Paul’s content wasn’t far off throwing mentos into a coke and running away. For those with a slightly more discerning taste in entertainment, it was mind-numbingly childish but astonishingly, it ended up building the 24-year-old a following of millions.
Fast forward to the present day and here we are, discussing whether he can win a boxing match against a seasoned fighter. Extraordinarily, the latest odds on the bout, which can be found at https://www.paddypower.com/boxing/boxing-matches/jake-paul-v-ben-askren-30254223, suggest that he can.
Indeed, Paul is at a mere 8/11 to beat Ben Askren whilst the 36-year-old is at evens to win. Additionally, the 24-year-old former YouTuber has gone one step further by saying that he will knock Askren out inside of two rounds. The odds suggest that he will have a hard time fulfilling that promise as he is at 10/1 to win in the first round and 17/2 to win in the second, but what would a boxing match be without a host of sensational claims in the lead-up?
I’m literally a tow truck. Ben Askren eatin Oreos right now. April 17th. 1 round knockout. pic.twitter.com/0SQGENf3tn
— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) March 15, 2021
It must be said that Paul takes pre-fight smack talk to levels never seen previously before. While most boxers try at least to focus their insults on a boxer’s career, Paul takes aim at everything and anything that has happened outside of the ring. The American’s combative and somewhat disrespectful style has worked wonders in advertising this fight given how much he gets under people’s skin. Come the first bell of the night, there will be many people who don’t make it a habit of watching boxing tuning in to see if Askren can dish out a lesson in decorum to this young pretender.
In many ways, this is the unique selling point of this fight when you consider how much characters like Paul irk seasoned boxing fans. There has been an almighty clamor from supporters to see YouTubers like Paul run out of town so that they don’t ever come back. The only way this will happen is if the 24-year-old is brutally knocked out by the hands of someone who has made a career out of fighting. The organizers in this respect have been quite shrewd as Askren is slightly past his best, as this article on his retirement in 2019 suggests https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/18/us/ben-askren-ufc-mma-retired-trnd/index.html
— Funky (@Benaskren) April 7, 2021
So there’s enough interest to capture the attention of fight fans but also a strong chance that Paul will win. At the very least, no one is expecting Askren to knock Paul out at odds of 3/1, with a win on points likelier at 21/10. A look back at Askren’s stats which can be studied at https://www.espn.co.uk/mma/fighter/_/id/2500597/ben-askren show that he did very little in the way of knocking out his opponents in the octagon. Basically, if the former UFC man is going to win, it will be down to the judges’ scorecard.
This all means that punters who were hoping to see Jake Paul hit the canvas after being on the receiving end of a devastating haymaker will have to wait a while longer yet.
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