As many pundits in the know predicted, YouTube superstar Jake Paul’s calculated decision to pick one of MMA’s worst strikers, Ben Askren to box him in a cringe-inducing pay-per-view last night resulted in him emerging victorious.
To his credit, Paul did take out Askren in under two minutes, landing cleanly with a powerful right hand to the temple that felled him like a tree, with ‘Funky’s’ head connecting first with the canvas a he failed to arrest his fall.
That being said, the dazed Askren did immediately start to get back to his feet and seemed willing to continue, but the ref didn’t like what he saw when asked him to walk towards him and so he waved off the bout at the 1.59min mark of the first round.
So Paul gets the bragging rights of having beaten a notable MMA fighter, but it’s difficult to draw any real conclusions about Paul’s ability as a boxer, other than that he has some power in his hands, given that he picked someone whose traditional style of fighting in the cage was based around his high-level wrestling while spending as little time striking on the feet as humanly possible.
Throw in the fact that Askren is 36, retired, and coming off a hip replacement, had ended his MMA career on a disastrous UFC run that included a record-breaking four second KO loss to Jorge Masvidal, and had admitted that he’d only accepted the fight because of the million dollar payday, and the whole thing feels like more of a money-grabbing publicity stunt than anything else.
Nevertheless, the Jake Paul boxing circus will no doubt roll on and we can only hope that if he tries to lure another MMA fighter into boxing with him next time that it’s someone who actually has shown some indication that they know how to actually strike (i.e. NOT Jiu-jitsu ace Dillon Danis).