One of the most highly anticipated fights of 2020 has been between a 24 year old YouTube star and a retired 36 year old MMA fighter fresh off a hip replacement. Yup, this is where boxing has ended up.
Jake Paul has built a career pissing off people and has realized YouTube can only piss off so many people, so he’s branched out to boxing to expand his reach. So far so good for Jake, two fights and two knockout wins. He’s been doing a good job picking who he fights; a far smaller YouTuber named AnEsonGib and a smaller equally mediocre retired NBA player in Nate Robinson. Both fights were ummm, bad. Many fights on WorldStar have displayed a higher skill level to be honest. Whenever Jake Paul isn’t content with a few wins, he lets them know how serious he is about this and that he has his eyes set on world championships and a fight with Conor McGregor. Obviously, he has a bit of a ladder to step up so he’s booked a fight with former UFC fighter Ben Askren.
Jake’s doing all the right things here. He’s picking on a smaller, older guy who’s now in his second retirement and coming off a hip surgery that’s probably limiting his already limited athleticism for what should be an easy win for Jake on paper. He’s even teamed up with Askren’s opponent Jorge Masvidal so he could bring up Ben’s knockout loss for the thousandth time. Here it is so you can watch it for the billionth time.
I’m here to tell you Jake Paul won’t be winning as easily as the media and fans are making it out to be. I’m here to tell you Jake won’t be winning at all! People keep bringing up Jake’s wins in boxing and Askren’s limited striking ability. There is a very big difference between Jake looking good against Nate Robinson and Askren looking bad against Demian Maia. Nate Robinson has worse boxing skills than someone who goes to a cardio kickboxing class twice in a good week. Demian Maia is the hardest hitting fighter that Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen have gone up against. That’s not hyperbole, they’ve said this themselves. Askren has never attempted to strike because his wrestling is just leagues above most fighters in the world and that’s exactly why he’s winning.
Despite being a purely boxing match, Askren’s wrestling is what’s going to bring him victory. I know this is boxing but wrestling will play a huge role. Neither of these people are skilled at what they do but Askren has intangibles. Someone of Askren’s caliber is built like a tree. Ask anyone that’s fought Dan Henderson or Daniel Cormier, other people with similar wrestling credentials, they’ll say he feels heavier than his weight suggests. Askren, the ever wily veteran, is going to make Paul carry that weight. Paul doesn’t have the cardio nor the power to handle Askren imposing his physical will on him. Eventually Jake Paul is going to get too tired from carrying Askren to mount much of a fight and he’ll have an embarrassing knockout loss. I can’t wait.
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