In less than one month, YouTuber Jake Paul will take on former UFC fighter Ben Askren in the latest boxing match to involve the celebrity.
The two have been involved in an online feud going back to 2020. Paul and Askren have exchanged insults leading up to the fight, which will take place at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia on April 17.
The boxing match will be the third professional bout of Paul’s career, as well as the first for Askren. On the other hand, Askren has also competed in 22 MMA fights, compiling a 19-2-1 record.
However, that hasn’t stopped sportsbooks from taking Jake Paul as the favorite. BetOnline has listed him at -215 to beat Askren.
As mentioned earlier, the fight will take place at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta on April 17. The event will begin at 8 pm ET and will be available live on pay-per-view. The undercard of the night will feature at least three other boxing bouts between combat fighters and celebrities.
The entire event should be a spectacle as musical artists such as Snoop Dogg, Justin Bieber and The Black Keys are slated to perform.
Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren Odds
Odds via BetOnline as of Thursday, March 18
- Jake Paul -215
- Ben Askren +175
Boxing Experience Gives Jake Paul the Edge
Whether you love or hate Jake Paul, he’s been accomplishing his goal of becoming a fighter. He started boxing in 2018 and competed in two bouts in 2020. He beat fellow YouTuber AnEsonGib in January 2020 before drafting former NBA star Nate Robinson in November.
While Paul looked good against AnEsonGib and Robinson, neither man had as much fighting experience as Askren. Yes, boxing isn’t the same as mixed martial arts, but Askren knows what it feels like to get punched a lot. Still, Paul has spent the better part of the last three years training to further his boxing career. He already has sights on possibly fighting the likes of Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz. In order to challenge fighters on their level, Paul has to beat Askren in April.
Bettors Can’t Count Askren Out Yet
If you’re familiar with MMA in general, it might seem weird that Ben Askren is the +175 underdog in his boxing match with Jake Paul. It’s important to keep in mind that he hasn’t competed in combat sports since 2019. Meanwhile, it’ll be five months since Paul last fought come April 17. Perhaps recency bias is skewing the odds towards Paul heading into the bout. Despite Askren’s 1-2 UFC record, he’s still a former ONE and Bellator Welterweight Champion.
The fight will all depend on how Askren looks after being retired for two years. Towards the end of his MMA career, he didn’t look as if his conditioning was as high as it was early on. Askren has also never been a great striker. He was always a better wrestler, which won’t help him a lot in Atlanta. On the other hand, while Jake Paul may not have the greatest strikes, he’s been honing his craft since 2018 and should have the advantage there.
Askren will need to prove that his striking skills have improved or are at least better than Paul’s since his time in the UFC if he wants to prove that he’s still got gas in the tank.