Retired Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter, Ben Askren, is taking on YouTube personality Jake Paul in a boxing match on April 17, 2021 (details), and the former Bellator / ONE champion is definitely carrying the right attitude coming into what’s shaping up to be the biggest freak show boxing match of 2021.
“I did this for free a whole bunch of times in high school and now they want to pay me a whole bunch of money,” he told TMZ Sports when the fight was officially announced. “I thought this was just fun. I did this for a fun time. I think combat is fun. Why wouldn’t I do this again if I’m getting paid a whole bunch of money?”
Askren says he’s getting a seven-figure payday for stepping in and giving Paul a chance to box a “real fighter” ... albeit one whose stand-up game is virtually non-existent. And that’s the funny space this fight exists in: Askren is bad, but is he as bad as Jake Paul?
At worst, he gets knocked out, something that’s only happened once in his decade-long fight career. Other than that he just has to deal with some pretty strange trash talk from Jake leading up to the bout, like the younger Paul’s apparent appreciation for Askren’s wife, Amy.
If the comment was supposed to get under Askren’s skin, it didn’t work. In fact, “Funky” seems to be having some fun with it as he shared this video discussing Paul’s inappropriate statements with his wife on Instagram.
“What about, uh, you know, thicc?” Ben asked her. “I guess that’s a term the kids use. What do you think about that term? Is it a compliment, or is it offensive?”
“I’m not sure,” she replied. “I don’t know what it means. It has two c’s.”
“Anything else you want to tell your new fans?”
“Tell your moms to follow me,” Amy said. “Because they’ll probably stick around after all this is over.”