The last time YouTuber Jake Paul last climbed into a boxing ring he KO’d former NBA star Nate Robinson in the 2nd round and went viral. Now he’s looking to do it all over again against a proper professional: ex-MMA fighter Ben Askren. They’ll fight on April 17, starting around 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET.
Strange mismatch? World’s weirdest circus act? It’s difficult to tell at this stage.
But let’s start at the start…
Who is Jake Paul?
Jake Paul is the brother of Logan Paul. Both are YouTuber online personalities with sizeable followings across almost every social media platform. They initially gained popularity on now-defunct video platform Vine and Jake Paul starred in Bizaardvark, a show on the Disney Channel.
As of late both Paul brothers have become well-known for — bizarrely — boxing. Logan Paul boxed fellow YouTuber KSI to a draw in a ludicrously high profile amateur boxing match in August 2018. Jake Paul fought KSI’s brother Deji Olatunji on the undercard.
After the bout Jake Paul continued boxing and has fought professionally twice, most recently defeating former NBA star Nate Robinson on the undercard of Mike Tyson’s recent comeback against Roy Jones Jr.
Since that contest Jake Paul has been going back and forth with multiple MMA fighters, including Conor McGregor and his training partner Dillon Danis, but ultimately he’s set up a boxing match against retired UFC fighter Ben Askren.
Who is Ben Askren?
Ben Askren is probably most famous for being violently KO’d by UFC superstar Jorge Masvidal in five seconds, but before that he was an undefeated fighter and considered among the most effective wrestlers in MMA.
After an incredibly successful amateur wrestling career Askren became a world champion in two organisations, Bellator and One FC. He made a UFC run at the end of his career, but by then was carrying a number of chronic long term injuries. He ultimately retired as a result of those injuries.
Who is the betting favourite?
Oddsmakers have Paul listed as -225 better favourite with Askren at +175.
This makes perfect sense. While this fight is an unknown quantity, Askren was never considered a good striker in MMA. His whole game was set up around his grinding wrestling and brutal ground and pound strikes. When the fight remains standing, Askren tends to look sluggish and limited. Jake Paul, whilst inexperienced, has more professional boxing experience than Askren and hasn’t lost a boxing match yet.
That being said, Askren is a former professional fighter with a 19-2 record and wins against world class competition. Jake Paul is 2-0 against less experienced opposition.
How do I watch?
That one is pretty straight forward. You can purchase the Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren PPV event on Triller Fight Club for US$49.99.
When does the fight take place?
According to the Triller page, the main event will start around 9pm EDT on April 17. That’s 6pm PDT.
Viewers in the UK will have to stay up till 2 a.m. on April 18 to watch the fight. If you’re tuning in from Australia, the fight takes place at 11 a.m. on April 18.
Triller held a Conor McGregor-esque press conference over the weekend, allowing Jake Paul and Ben Askren to go at each other. At one point Paul played a message from Jorge Masvidal for Askren.
It ended up in a comical staredown where Ben Askren sort of casually palmed Paul’s face and Paul responded by throwing the weirdest pulled punch I’ve ever seen.
Solid preview for how this fight is going to play out? Possibly.
Who else is on the fight card?
The full fight card is as follows…
- Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren
- Regis Prograis vs. Ivan Redkach
- Antonio Tarver vs. Frank Mir
- Joe Fournier vs. Reykon
Performances and commentary team
Outside of boxing, the Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren event is expected to feature multiple performances by legitimate A-listers.
Justin Bieber, Diplo, The Black Keys, Doja Cat and Major Lazer are all expected to perform. Mt. Westmore, a new rap group features — get this — Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, E-40, and Too $hort are also scheduled to appear.
Bizarrely, Pete Davidson has been added to the commentary team. During the Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. — fight Triller’s last big PPV event — Snoop Dogg’s commentary went a little bit viral. Sounds like Triller is going for the same vibe with this PPV.
Celebrities also confirmed to attend include supermodel Taylor Hill, Mario Lopez and TikTok superstars Dixie and Charli D’Amelio.