Ben Askren says Jake Paul is 'better than all of us anticipated' but ex-UFC star admits loss to YouTube star 'sucks'
BEN ASKREN admits the entire combat sports world underestimated Jake Paul's boxing skills.
The YouTuber turned boxer has taken the sport by storm since making his pro debut in January 2020 against fellow social media star AnEsonGib.
Paul went gone on to brutally knockout both Askren and former UFC welterweight champ Tyron Woodley, the former of whom concedes Paul is more talented than people first thought.
During an appearance on The MMA Hour, he said: "Obviously, Jake is probably a little better than all of us anticipated, unfortunately.
"So I guess we’ll see how far he can take it. It’s pretty evident that he’s at least kinda good at boxing.
“That’s what sucks, I had to take the brunt of it, I didn’t know how good he was! I was like f**k it, I’ll go fight this dude, I don’t care.
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"I’m kind of indifferent to Jake Paul, like I don’t really care what you do.
"I didn’t know you before that, whatever, we were antagonising each other, whatever, I’m out. But other people hate his freaking guts."
Former Bellator and ONE Championship welterweight champion Askren is constantly reminded of the fact he was added to the former Disney star's highlight reel.
He continued: "So, they hold it against me that I let him beat me – and it’s like listen, I didn’t know how good he was.
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"Yeah, I wish I would’ve freaking won, it would’ve been tremendous. But apparently, he’s kinda good. It sucks.”
Paul, 25, hasn't set foot inside the ring since his viral KO of Woodley last December and is currently donning his promoter's hat ahead of Amanda Serrano's titanic clash with Katie Taylor next month.
But The Problem Child is seemingly eyeing a September return to the ring, saying: "There’s a lot going on in other aspects of my life.
“I’m going to do these press conferences over the next two weeks here to help with the promotion around Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano and I’m very busy on the business side of things with my venture capital fund.
"So I haven’t even got back into the gym or been training at all.
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"I need to have a discussion with my coaches but probably I would say August-September maybe. Maybe later. I’m trying to figure it out.
"Obviously if the stars align in some sort of way or I have a change of heart, then things can obviously move around but right now I don’t feel like that motivated to just go right back into another training camp.”
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