Youtube boxing is getting trendier and more mainstream by the day. The man acting as the poster boy for this new movement is former Disney star and YouTuber, Jake Paul. Three years and three fights in, Jake Paul is yet to be defeated. The caliber of the competition he faced in these three bouts was either at his level or lower than him.
Defeating people pretending to be boxers, has not given Jake the legitimacy he hoped for within the combat sports ecosystem. After his brutal knockout of former Slam Dunk Champion, Nate Robinson, through innumerable call-outs and general annoyance, Paul finally managed to get a fight against a real fighter in the form of former Bellator and ONE Champion, Ben Askren.
Many were quick to criticize Paul for cherry-picking one of the worst strikers in the history of high-level MMA. Askren, who built his 19-0 career streak before the UFC was reliant on his wrestling to toy with his opponents. Striking for Ben has never been about knocking someone out, but rather a smoke mirror to set up for the takedown.
The average MMA or Boxing fan would still feel pretty confident in Ben’s chances to defeat Jake. How could a man that withstood Robbie Lawler and Douglas Lima be defeated by a lowly Youtuber? You wouldn’t be wrong to think that, just know that one of the greatest combat athletes of all time has a different view.
GSP Believes Jake Paul Presents real danger to Ben Askren
Recently Georges St Pierre made an appearance on the JRE podcast and among a multitude of things they talked about Ben Askren vs Jake Paul. GSP emphasized that in a way, this bout is unfair to Ben more than Jake. He feels Ben’s biggest weapon, his wrestling is taken away from him. He also expressed his concern about how a loss for Ben may bring a bad name to the sport itself. Ben for his part has said on many occasions that he doesn’t feel like a welcoming presence in the MMA Community and doesn’t personally feel like he represents the sport.
When Joe Rogan pointed out that Ben’s pad work looks good, GSP wasn’t convinced and proclaimed that “Everyone is a champion on pads”. He said that pad-work includes a pattern and a familiar environment that is easy to catch up to. GSP has also been frequenting legendary trainer, Freddie Roach’s gym and was recently seen with Tony Ferguson. Ben too trained for a week with Freddie, something that GSP was disappointed by as he felt he should’ve done more.
The fight between Jake Paul and Ben Askren will take place on April 17th at the Mercedes Benz stadium and will feature Frank Mir’s boxing debut on the undercard. Will this finally be the moment when Jake Paul is legitimized? What do you think a victory over Askren would do?