The YouTube star has promised to deliver a performance worthy of an “elite fighter” amidst a hail of trash talk, while also comparing his pulling power to Floyd Mayweather Jr. “I’m in my third pro fight, I’m fighting eight rounds, headlining one of the biggest pay-per-views that could happen this decade,” Paul said. “If you look at Floyd Mayweather, his third fight was six rounds, he got paid $7,000 and I don’t think anyone in this room probably watched it.”
Paul has fought twice professionally in the past, debuting with a victory over fellow YouTuber AnEsonGib before he knocked out former NBA player Nate Robinson inside two rounds. Askren, 37, retired from mixed martial arts after he went 1-2 in the UFC, and was famously on the receiving end of the fastest knockout in UFC history when he was defeated by Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239.
Paul hopes victory will see him set up a money-spinning bout against former UFC kingpin Conor McGregor. “I think we both are on a road to each other,” Paul said. “You know he wants another boxing fight, he wants to fight Manny Pacquiao – he would get toasted. He just keeps on taking Ls (losses).
“I think him fighting me would not only be his money fight, but it would technically be the ‘easiest’ challenge right? I think fighting Jake Paul would probably be easier than fighting Manny Pacquiao and it would be just as big, and I think we’re a lot closer to a Jake Paul-Conor McGregor fight than anyone thinks – I think it could happen in the next 24 months.”
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the fight this weekend.
What time is it on?
The Paul vs Askren main card gets underway at 9pm ET in Atlanta on Saturday 17 April, which is 2am GMT on the morning of Sunday 18 April in the UK. The main event isn’t expected to take place until 4am GMT.
How can I watch?
The fight is being shown live on online streaming site FITE TV in the UK. It is PPV and is available for £17.
Who’s on the undercard?
What are the odds?
Jack Paul: 4/7
Ben Askren: 5/4