How We Got To Jake Paul vs Ben Askren on PPV
Saturday, April 17th, 6 PM PST, on Triller App or Fite.TV – PPV $49.99
I used to laugh at the idea of boxing being dead, but now I think it might be a valid take, or at least based within reason.
Over the past five-to-six months, we have seen Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr fight in a more meaningful fight than most of the fighters in the top-ten of the pound-for-pound rankings, beyond that guys Evander Holyfield, Miguel Cotto, Sergio Martinez, ad Oscar De La Hoya are returning to the ring as well. Why?
It appears the legends of the sport, and YouTubers Logan and Jake Paul figured something out. With Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua not happening, with Terence Crawford vs Errol Spence Jr. seemingly destined to never happen, fight fans want to see big marquee bouts, and if the competition at the highest level won’t give it to them, then they will seek entertainment mixed in with the boxing for the fix.
You can see the formula worked as Tyson v. Jones Jr sold over 1.6 million pay-per-views, more than most, if any current boxing star. The only fighters who could merit those type of numbers are Canelo and Tyson Fury, and that is about it.
Jake Paul is at the forefront of reshaping boxing, using his huge internet following, to gain interest in his bouts, as his ability to market and sell a fight is as good or better than any fighter currently, maybe ever. You feel an emotional attachment, you hate him or love him, and that is probably what made his YouTube channel so beloved.
Enter his rival this weekend, a two-time MMA world champion, and Olympic wrestler, who has really bad boxing, Ben Askren.
The simple equation is this: can Paul who knocked out Nate Robinson badly in his last fight, beat a professional fighter, with a world class resume, despite the fact that Askren, the world class fighter, was known for notoriously bad striking, but boxing in particular.
The purist will hate, but the fight fan will love it. It will be closer to a schoolyard fight than pro boxing match, but one thing it will be is unpredictable, and exciting
How does Jake Paul win?
Paul who has began training with former contender B.J. Flores as well J’Leon Love, has devoted himself to the craft of boxing. Installing a boxing ring in house, and taking the sport very serious. Paul’s body shows despite not being the sport for a long period of time, he is going about the sport with dedication and a hard work ethic.
Obviously, Paul is not viewed as a world title level fighter, yet, but he is a solid prospect in my opinion, he could potentially win or finish in the top-3 of a USA Boxing amateur tournament (if in the right bracket), and is extremely explosive. Paul has impressed me with how fast he has picked up the sport, and also the amount of money he is spending in dedicating himself to the sport.
For Paul to win the goal would seem to be to go after Ben Askren’s body. Askren appears to be a bit soft in the stomach in terms of a boxer, and though Askren is known for being extremely tough, and durable, body shots can make someone rethink what they want to do in the ring. I don’t see Paul’s punches effecting Askren outside of a slew of body work, that could greatly slow down Askren, unless the hand speed and foot speed difference is so dramatically different that Paul feels free to open up.
It is also important to note that the bout is at cruiserweight which has a weight limit of 200 lbs. Ben Askren fought in the UFC 30 lbs lighter at 170 lbs, albeit Askren was cutting from a bigger weight, but still something to think about.
How does Ben Askren win?
Askren wins via experience. Askren will have win this bout on the back end, Paul is younger, a more explosive athlete, and fought at a much higher level in a similar sport MMA, and the highest level in wrestling. Askren has to make it a fight of chaos and wills, and that will be where his fights of prior years will come into play.
Paul hasn’t had to go many rounds as a professional in fact just three, and Paul was in control of every second of both fights. The big question is, can Askren take Paul into the part of the fight in which fatigue sets in, and can he do it with being too far behind on the scorecard such as being dropped, or accumulating damage that would hamper his performance.
If Askren can do that, and take Paul into the second half of this fight, realistically, it is Askren’s fight to win.
The bout is an interesting blend of what has been missing in boxing at the highest level, as it isn’t the highest level of boxing, but it is exciting. You have a generational great wrestler, and solid MMA fighter in Askren, taking on a dedicated celebrity turned full-time fighter, who is a more explosive athlete than the decorated fighter.
It is hard to give thoughts on this one, as we know so little going on, but one thing I do know – for boxing to get more eyeballs in front of the sport, we need our top fighters in fights that have people as interested as people are in this fight. As much as people might complain, Jake Paul is actually helping boxing quite a bit currently.