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Midnight Mania! Ben Askren plans to humble pretend fighter Jake Paul

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BOXING: JAN 30 Miami Fight Night Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Just a few short hours ago, news arose that YouTube star Jake Paul would continue his venture into boxing opposite Ben Askren. Seeing as how Paul has only ever previously boxed opposite a fellow YouTuber and former NBA player, it’s a definite step up in competition to fight a former professional fighter, but it’s also something of a lateral move considering Paul’s end goal is a scrap with Conor McGregor.

Still, it’s sure to be a profitable fight for Paul, and a victory likely does set up a match with Dillon Danis next. As for Askren, however, why would the retired Olympian return to competition for a spectacle like this?

While money is an obvious answer, Askren also sounds excited to beat up someone “pretending to be an athlete.” Check out his full answer below:

“Yes, Mr. Jake Paul, I do accept,” Askren said (transcription via BJPenn.com). “I know you called me out after that last fight against that bum Nate Robinson. And listen, it’s a pretty simple choice. I’m going to make a whole bunch of money to beat up a guy who is pretending to be an athlete. Because at the end of the day, that’s what you’re doing. I know you may think I don’t have too many standup skills. Also at the end of the day, I don’t really need to.”

“I’m a world-class athlete, I’ve won NCAA titles, I’ve been in the Olympics, I’ve won belts in multiple mixed martial arts organizations. And quite frankly, I am impressed that you’ve deluded yourself into thinking you’re a fighter! That you are really tough, that you can really box. It’s really quite impressive that beating up another YouTuber and beating up a boxer who has never been in the ring before makes you somehow good at boxing because it doesn’t. So yes, Jake, I accept. I will see you on March 28 in Los Angeles, and I will humble you like millions of people want to see happen.”

Even acknowledging himself as no boxing specialist, Askren’s argument holds water. Askren has a great deal more experience pushing through adversity and fatigue under the bright lights than Paul. However, Paul has proven himself fairly dedicated to his boxing training, and he is quite a few years younger.

It all adds up to what will likely be a competitive fight with continuing bad blood. Until they meet in the ring, I leave you all with this meme, which I pray becomes reality:

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Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.