Jake Paul will continue his unlikely journey as a boxer with his third professional fight. But this time his opponent is an actual fighter and not a fellow YouTuber or an NBA player.
On April 17, Paul will face retired mixed martial artist Ben Askren in an 8-round fight that will headline Triller’s Fight Club at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Since starting his boxing career, Paul has gone 2-0 with both victories coming by way of knockout against AnEsonGib and Nate Robinson. Neither fighter had ever stepped into a boxing ring prior to facing Paul. Former Bellator and ONE FC champion Askren hasn’t had a professional boxing match, either. However, he’s had a successful 12-year MMA career and has faced off against some of the best in the sport.
It will be the first time that the supremely confident Paul has faced anyone with any fighting experience while Askren aims to silence the big mouth of the social media superstar.
Here are the betting odds to help you with your selection.
All odds courtesy of FanDuel.
Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren odds
- Jake Paul: -190
- Ben Askren: +148
- Draw: +2000
Although Paul has only two fights with neither of his opponents making it out of the second round, oddsmakers believe that he has shown enough in the boxing ring to get by an opponent that is not known for his striking. Paul sits as a -190 favorite, which means it would take a bet of $190 to gain a return of $100. As for Askren, his 12 years of mixed martial arts experience doesn’t mean much. The two-time NCAA Division I national wrestling champion has incredible grappling credentials but hasn’t proven much in terms of his boxing ability. For that reason, he rests as a +148 underdog against the YouTuber. A wager of $100 would earn a $148 profit should you choose to bet on Askren to come out victorious.
Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren prediction
Say what you want about Jake Paul, but the 24-year-old YouTuber is taking his training very seriously. And although he hasn’t faced a quality opponent, he’s shown a great jab, some solid power and appears to be fundamentally sound. As for Askren, despite being a champion in two MMA promotions and a stint in the UFC, the world-class wrestler simply isn’t a very good boxer. He had three fights in the UFC and two of them happened without him landing a single strike. Granted, one was a five-second loss to Jorge Masvidal but it speaks to his one-dimensional approach to the fight game.
Askren has a lot of experience as a fighter but it won’t help him against Paul unless he can show some drastic improvement in his striking. Keep in mind, Askren has never knocked out an opponent when both were standing up. All 12 of his MMA finishes have come with his opponents on the ground due to his superior wrestling. Unfortunately, wrestling isn’t a part of boxing and Askren will be asked to use his least refined skill set against an opponent who has been training primarily in this discipline for three years.
He may be annoying to some, but don’t let that cloud your vision on who will win this fight. Askren can take a punch and could press Paul if the fight gets into the later rounds. However, he’s in a totally different world against an opponent who doesn’t like him and will aim to take him out early. One way or another, the YouTube star will see his hand raised and pursue yet another huge payday and a step up in his opponent after defeating Askren.
Sporting News pick: Jake Paul (-190)