Jake Paul Dominates Ben Askren with 1st-Round TKO to Win Anticipated Fight

Nate Loop@Nate_LoopFeatured ColumnistApril 18, 2021

UFC fighter Ben Askren waits for the start of a middleweight mixed martial arts bout between David Branch and Jared Cannonier at UFC 230, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Jake Paul wasted no time adding another highlight-reel clip to his growing collection Saturday night, earning a first-round technical-knockout win in a highly anticipated boxing match against retired mixed martial artist Ben Askren at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

TOO EASY FOR JAKE PAUL 😀 https://t.co/CSE6YmD1tC

Paul dropped Askren with a right hook roughly 90 seconds into the fight. Askren tried to get up and continue fighting, but the referee waved off the fight because Askren didn't look steady on his feet.

Here's a look at the fight-ending punch, per SportsCenter:

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

The ringside view of Jake Paul's TKO. @ESPNRingside https://t.co/YgasSH1Br4

After the fight, Paul said this proved he was a "real fighter," per TalkSport.com's Michael Benson:

Michael Benson @MichaelBensonn

Jake Paul after knocking out Ben Askren in round one: "I told y'all I was gonna do it in the first round. I told y'all I'm a real fighter. I don't know how many times I've gotta prove myself that this is for real."

Askren kept his post-fight response short:

Funky @Benaskren

Sorry world :(

Paul, a social-media star turned boxer, is now 3-0 in his professional career with three knockouts. The first came against a fellow YouTuber in AnEsonGib, and the second was against retired NBA star Nate Robinson. Askren represented a step up in legitimacy for Paul because of his background as an MMA welterweight champion and Olympic wrestler.

Anyone who waited out the four-hour card, which featured three other fights and a Coachella-worthy lineup of musical guests, in the hopes of seeing Paul get taken to task by a professional fighter was sorely disappointed.

Askren didn't have a chance to teach the 24-year-old any lessons or employ any of the tricks one learns during a career in combat sports. Paul was sharp, focused and swift. Askren, who didn't look like he was in his best shape, had nothing to offer in his first professional boxing match.

CBS Sports' Luke Thomas wasn't sure about the decision to stop the fight so early:

Luke Thomas @lthomasnews

Stoppage wasn't great, but Askren was in huge trouble. I dunno. Seems like the fight was made to boost Paul's 'authenticity' and popularity and I bet it worked well at least as far as future paydays go.

For those keeping track, Robinson, a former basketball player with no combat-sports experience, lasted a round longer than Askren against Paul.

Paul is surely going to use this performance to set up more fights and get even bigger paydays. He knows how to play the role of a heel, but now people might be more interested in seeing how far he can go as a fighter.

ESPN's Stephen A. Smith wants to see Paul really challenge himself next time:

Stephen A Smith @stephenasmith

See, this has to stop. @jakepaul is not some scrub. He’s a pro now. Askren, even though he’s a @ufc fighter, is a grappler. Not a boxer. So why was he even in the damn ring? From now on, Paul needs to fight an actual boxer. He’s gonna hurt any non-boxer.

Facing a fighter with a striking background, either from MMA or boxing, is a logical next step for Paul. If an interesting name from the MMA or boxing world doesn't step up, he could always go the celebrity route for his next bout. Eventually, he needs to take on someone who puts up greater resistance.


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