Mixed martial arts veteran Ben Askren is not impressed with the boxing ability of Youtube star Jake Paul.
The two are scheduled to collide in a boxing match on April 17th, in the main event of a pay-per-view card from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
Askren, a former world champion with Bellator and ONE Championship, retired from the UFC in 2019.
Paul, who made his pro debut in 2020, is now 2-0 as a boxer with 2 knockouts.
But he’s yet to beat an actual boxer in the ring.
In his first bout, he blew away Youtube rival AnEsonGib in one round. And last November, he demolished NBA star Nate Robinson in two rounds as part of the pay-per-view undercard to Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones.
“We haven’t seen anything. The level of his competition was so low that it was almost impossible to tell if he is actually good at this,” Askren explained to Metro.co.uk.
“If there is one thing people respect about all fighters it’s the toughness to deal with adversity in battle and we have not seen that out of him. I don’t think he was hit hard by either one of those guys. They were so incredibly terrible at boxing. So we haven’t seen anything out of him yet.
“I didn’t realize how much people didn’t like Jake Paul until I tuned in and started listening to what people were saying about him. At best for me, it’s like 50 percent positive comments and 50 percent negative comments. That’s my persona. But everyone freaking hates Jake Paul.
“One of the things you have to realize about prize fighting is that the more recognition and scrutiny you can bring to yourself, the faster you are going to move up the ranks. When you look at the job, you have to look at all parts of the job. Is part of the job being good at fighting? Absolutely. But a part of the job is also figuring out how to promote yourself so you can advance much quicker.”