Jake Paul is a little more than a month away from his boxing match against former UFC fighter Ben Askren, and while he seems extremely confident about his chances, not everyone believes in his abilities. You can add UFC boss Dana White to the list of doubters. The mixed martial arts promoter scoffed at Paul’s chances during a recent interview and even said he’d be willing to put a million dollars down that he’ll lose. Of course Paul wants a piece of that action and released a video asking White to double down.
The back-and-forth started when Dana White made an appearance on Hotboxin’ With Mike Tyson. Paul’s upcoming fight with Askren came up, and White was less than confident in Jake Paul’s chances. Even after former boxing champion Zab Judah, who was also on the show, said he’s watched him train and he’s got good hands, White remained less than convinced. You can read a portion of White’s comments below, which are chopped up a bit because he was going back and forth with Tyson and Judah…
Let’s be honest. Jake Paul isn’t a fucking boxer. He’s a fucking YouTube kid…The kid he’s going to fight is a real good wrestler, a decorated wrestler. He’s actually fought real guys. He’s been a world champion in other organizations… He talks a lot of shit… I hope you can bet on this thing. I’ll bet a million dollars that he loses this fucking fight.
Say what you will about Jake Paul, but he’s never missed a chance to capitalize on some free publicity. As such, he reposted excerpts of Dana White’s comments on his own Instagram page, along with a video of him watching and reacting. He also wants to double the bet and make it official by transferring the money into escrow. He also challenged White himself to a fight after he's done with Askren because why not? The clip has already been viewed more than a million and a half times and shows no signs of stopping. Check out his official response…
The fight between Jake Paul and Ben Askren is scheduled to take place on April 17th. Paul, as White derisively pointed out in his comments, typically makes his living as a YouTuber and social media influencer. That was obvious when he recorded himself prank calling Askren's coach, but more recently, he’s started getting into the world of boxing. He first fought another YouTuber AnEsonGib, who he defeated in the first round. Next he fought former NBA favorite Nate Robinson, who he knocked out in pretty brutal fashion. Now he’s onto Ben Askren, who definitely represents his toughest test yet.
Askren has extensive mixed martial arts experience. He fought in the UFC and other leading promotions, but he was mostly known as a wrestler who tried to get his opponents on the ground. He won’t be able to do that in the upcoming boxing match, which is perhaps why Paul is so confident that he can hang despite having so much less experience.
In many ways, the choice in opponents is a gamble for Jake Paul. After his bout with Robinson, he had plenty of former NBA players calling him out on Twitter and asking to step into the ring. One of those athletes likely would have been easier to beat and potentially would have helped move more pay per view purchases, but Askren is potentially an avenue to be taken more seriously. He has extensive mixed martial arts experience, and if Paul is able to defeat him, those in the fight game will look at him very differently. It might even help to make his dream of fighting Conor McGregor closer to a real possibility.