Breaking down the spectacle that was the Jake Paul vs Ben Askren fight

The YouTuber’s takedown of the former UFC star set social media on fire

Abigail Rodriguez, Arts & Culture Editor

YouTuber Jake Paul, who is new to the boxing world, is fresh off of his third knockout win against former UFC fighter Ben Askren. This fight was super-hyped up for a while, given Paul’s minor past in boxing, most notably his fight last winter against former NBA player Nate Robinson during which he shocked viewers with a knockout win. Hosted by entertainment app Trilller, the Paul-Askren fight took place in Atlanta at the Mercedes- Benz Stadium on April 17. 

The event brought out many opening artists including Justin Bieber, Doja Cat, Saweetie, Major Lazer, The Black Keys, Diplo and Mt. Westmore, and featured rap icons Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Too $hort and E-40. This long list of performances added to the spectacle that was the lead up to the fight. In addition to these artists Triller flew out a number of social media influencers such as the D’Amelio sisters, Bryce Hall, Noah Beck and Avani Gregg. Even the undercard was star-studded, and included, according to,British millionaire nightclub owner Joe Fournier [and] Colombian reggaeton musician Reykon,” as well as “former WBA super-lightweight champion Regis Prograis and ex-UFC heavyweight star Frank Mir.”

As with everything Paul does, there was a lot of hype surrounding this fight. Askren is the first real fighter Paul has boxed, although he is not a boxer but a UFC fighter. Paul has called out professional boxer Connor McGregor for a chance in the ring, but to no avail.

Many were saying the fight was just a cash grab for Askren, because he wasn’t even in shape at the initial weigh-in, and he’s retired anyway, so what would he have to lose. On top of that, people were claiming this fight didn’t have any credibility on Paul’s side because he has yet to fight a true boxer, as this is a profession he wants to take seriously. Even UFC fighter Dana White chimed in and asked why Paul wouldn’t just fight a real boxer. 

Past all the noise, the time finally came when Paul and Askren were in the ring together, and this time it didn’t last long. Paul knocked out Askren one minute and fifty-nine seconds into the first round. The quick KO set off social media in a blaze of speculations that Paul rigged the fight and that Askren voluntarily went down.

To add to the speculations that this fight was rigged in Paul’s favor, Askren left the ring smiling and acting visibly unbothered by what had occurred. Paul celebrated and the night ended as the criticisms and assumptions of a rigged fight rolled in. reported that Askren took home $500,000 following the Paul fight. The sports gossip site also reported that UFC fighter Belal Muhammad said that Askren admitted he threw the fight.

What does Paul’s future look like as a fighter? While Paul fans are celebrating his success in the ring, diehard UFC fans lament the entrance of amateurs into the sport.

But if the price is right, who knows who Paul will fight next.