Jake Paul to Fight Former UFC Fighter Ben Askren in Boxing Match on April 17

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJanuary 26, 2021

FILE - Internet personality Jake Paul arrives at the Teen Choice Awards in Los Angeles on Aug. 13, 2017. FBI agents including a SWAT team have raided the apparent home of YouTube star Jake Paul. FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller says agents executed a search warrant Wednesday at the Calabasas, California mansion in connection with an ongoing investigation. She could not say what the probe is about or who the target was. Helicopter video from local TV news showed agents gathering guns from the home that can frequently be seen on Paul's YouTube channel, which has over 20 million followers. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
Jordan Strauss/Associated Press

Jake Paul is apparently ready to take the next step up from knocking out NBA Slam Dunk Contest winners.

The YouTube star has agreed to a boxing match against former MMA champion Ben Askren on April 17, Triller founder Ryan Kavanaugh told ESPN's Ariel Helwani.

"I know Jake Paul is enjoying pretending he is a fighter," Askren said. "I think on April 17 he is going to have a rude awakening to what being a fighter is really like. Jake has led a privileged life and doesn't really know what the meaning of being a fighter is. I'm going to put his dreams to an end."

Paul's most recent fight came in November, when he knocked out Nate Robinson in the second round. He is 2-0 as a professional boxer, but both of those bouts came against non-professional fighters.

Askren, who announced his retirement from MMA in November 2019, posted a 19-2 career record with one no-contest. He won 19 of his first 20 career fights, with the only non-victory being a no-contest, before retiring after losses to Jorge Masvidal and Demian Maia:

"I started boxing two years ago and I'm still going to knock his ass out faster than [Jorge] Masvidal. These MMA guys think because they throw punches they know how to box. The world complained because I knocked out a basketball player and not a real fighter. So now I'm giving the people what they want by taking on a 'real fighter.' After Ben Askren is added to my knockout meme collection, what can anybody say? Thank you to Triller Fight Club for giving me the platform to once again put a man to sleep. April 17, it's lights out for Askren."

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The Askren-Paul card is expected to be the main event of a boxing card featuring social media stars and "familiar names from the world of boxing, present and past."