Jake Paul vs Ben Askren Preview, Best Bets, and More

by Jake Paul vs Ben Askren Live
Published: April 15, 2021 (3 months ago)

Jake Paul is heading back to the boxing ring. The YouTube star turned pro boxer is back in a headlining role on Saturday night in Atlanta when he faces off with former MMA welterweight champion Ben Askren. The two top a four-fight main card on Saturday night from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium that is expected to be filled with musical performances ranging from Justin Beiber to Snoop Dogg.

The two have traded trash talk for the better part of six months after Paul made waves with his thunderous knockout of Nate Robinson in November. Now Askren, never known as a big puncher, will step into the boxing ring for the first time since announcing his MMA retirement in 2019. Plus, this card also sees the return of a potential start at 140 pounds when Regis Prograis steps in against Ivan Redkach. And former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir makes his boxing debut when he faces Steve Cunningham.

Can’t get enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the world of combat sports from two of the best in the business. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news.

It’s expected to be a busy week in Atlanta with plenty going on leading up to fight night. CBS Sports will have you covered with all of it, so keep this page saved throughout the week for updates, news and analysis.

Paul vs. Askren card, odds
Jake Paul -180 vs. Ben Askren +155, cruiserweights
Regis Prograis vs. Ivan Redkach, junior welterweights
Steve Cunningham vs. Frank Mir, heavyweights
Joe Fournier vs. Reykon, light heavyweights
Paul vs. Askren viewing information
Date: April 17 | Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium — Atlanta
Start time: 9 p.m. ET
TV: Traditional PPV | Live stream: FITE TV
Paul vs. Askren fight countdown
Brookhouse: Three biggest storylines to follow in Atlanta
Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren fight: Three biggest storylines to follow in cruiserweight boxing match
The two men are set to throw down on Saturday night in a unique PPV from Atlanta
Brent Brookhouse

By Brent Brookhouse
Apr 13, 2021 at 1:33 pm ET
4 min read
Getty Images
Triller returns to pay-per-view on Saturday with another celebrity-driven boxing card. In the main event from Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, YouTube star Jake Paul will look to improve to 3-0 as a professional boxer when he faces former UFC star Ben Askren.

The event is certainly appealing to a different crowd than the standard boxing card, but Paul has proven to be nothing if not a big draw. He has brings tons of controversy from his time as a Disney Channel star to YouTube influencer, and during his short career as a boxer, he has tried to call out big names ranging from UFC megastar Conor McGregor to UFC president Dana White. Instead of McGregor, Paul will face Askren, who retired from the UFC in 2019.

Paul vs Askren
Paul vs Askren Live

Jake Paul vs Ben Askren
Jake Paul vs Ben Askren Live

Paul vs Askren
Paul vs Askren Live

Paul vs Askren Live
Paul vs Askren Live

Paul vs Askren Stream
Paul vs Askren Live Stream

Paul vs Askren Live Free
Paul vs Askren Free

Paul vs Askren Live
Askren vs Paul Live

Paul vs Askren
Askren vs Paul

It’s an odd fight, but one that is going to draw plenty of interest. With that in mind, let’s take a look at three of the storylines to watch when Paul and Askren throw down in Atlanta.

What else is Jake Paul supposed to do?
“When is Paul going to fight a real fighter?” It has been said or thought by most anyone who has followed the Paul boxing saga. The reality is that, through his many faults, Paul has seemed to take his boxing training seriously since deciding he was going to really make a go as a professional. But the path he has taken has been anything but serious. The 24-year-old has beat up a fellow YouTuber and a former NBA player — and beat them badly. Now Paul will step into the ring against a former UFC fighter who retired after some bad losses and hip issues. Paul is undeniably a big, strong kid, and young enough that the idea of possibly making waves as a boxer isn’t as crazy as it might seem at first.

But expecting him to follow a standard boxing path is just unreasonable. Paul is worth heaps of money every time he steps into the ring for these fights with other “personalities.” There’s no selling a pay-per-view to see Paul fight the level of fighter most boxers face in their third professional bout. Nobody is paying for a card headlined by Paul vs. the No. 150 American cruiserweight with a record of 1-4. Paul knows that, as does everyone involved in his management. So, why not fight the Nate Robinsons and Ben Askrens of the world, getting ring time and making loads of money? It’s the only piece of business that makes any sense, even if it irks traditionalists.

Can’t get enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the world of combat sports from two of the best in the business. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news.

Make no mistake, Ben Askren is not a striker
If you’re not familiar with the combat career of Askren, you may think that his mixed martial arts background makes him a threat as a striker. That’s simply not the case. Sure, Askren knows how to throw a punch and has trained striking for years, but striking never came easy for him. In his final UFC fight, Askren found only mixed success in the stand-up game against Demian Maia, a fighter known for his jiu-jitsu skills but not a prolific striker by any stretch of the imagination. Askren has posted training footage during the build to the fight with Paul that is either an elaborate troll job, or a reminder that he just truly is not a fighter who ever developed threatening skills with his hands