- Date & Location: Saturday, April 17, 2021, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia
- Odds: Jake Paul (-130) vs. Ben Askren (+100) via Bovada
- Prediction: Askren via decision
The Mercedes-Benz Stadium hosts its first boxing card when the Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren headlined Triller pay-per-view event takes place at the stadium. The Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren date is set for April 17.
Askren was a two-time winner and two-time runner-up in the NCAA finals while wrestling for the University of Missouri. He was also a U.S. Olympic team member in freestyle wrestling. Askren won gold medals at the 2005 Pan American Championships, 2008 U.S. National Championships and 2009 World Championships. Askren made his professional MMA debut in 2009. He went 18-0 before he retired in 2017 after winning titles with Bellator and ONE Championship. In 2019 he came out of retirement to fight in the UFC where he went 1-2 before he retired again in late 2019. The former NCAA champ has not had a professional boxing match.
Paul made a name for himself on YouTube where he has over 20 million followers. Paul is 2-0 as a professional boxer. Both fights ended in a knockout. In January 2020, Paul knocked out YouTuber AnEsonGib and in November he stopped former NBA player Nate Robinson.
The Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren odds opened with Paul as the favorite. Paul remains the favorite as fight night approaches.
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PAUL vs. ASKREN PREDICTION & PICK
There are two big questions heading into this fight. The first, is Paul ready to face a top-level combat sports athlete? The second, has Askren been able to improve his striking?
Paul might have more experience boxing than his opponent has, but he is nowhere near the level of athlete Askren is. Say what you want about the poor striking Askren showed in his MMA days, but he is an elite athlete and he has been competing at the top level of combat sports since he was in college. Paul is a glorified novice.
That being said, Paul has been working hard on his striking skills and he is trying to become a real boxer. This fight won’t tell us much about Paul’s overall outlook as a boxer, but it should tell us something about his ability to work through tough spots and his level of overall athleticism.
Askren’s weakest skill in MMA was always his striking He used it as a means to an end. Askren always used his strikes to set up takedowns. I suspect Askren will show improved striking skills, I’m just not too sure how much those skills will develop in such a short time
Prediction: Askren at -108 via Betonline
BETTING VALUE WITH ASKREN
I think Askren’s best bet is to work as close as possible to Paul and lean on him every chance he gets while working the body before and after the referee separates the fighters. Askren will not struggle with his cardio. His long wrestling career and ability to go five rounds in an MMA bout guarantee he will be the one who will be fresher the longer this fight goes. Askren needs to do everything he can to keep Paul from landing with power and also tiring him out. Askren is a smart athlete and I’m sure he will know what he needs to do to win this contest.
I don’t think Askren can score a knockout. Most of his striking stoppages came on the ground while he was an MMA fighter. On the other side, I don’t see Paul taking this contest by stoppage. Askren has a good chin and he should be able to take the shots Paul lands.
Paul has a puncher’s chance, but that’s not something to consider while thinking about the Paul vs. Askren betting situation. I think Askren’s athleticism will play the biggest role in this fight and that he’ll tire Paul throughout the bout and win by decision.
OveralI, I think the fact that Askren is an underdog in the Ben Askren vs. Paul odds makes the former wrestling star a very good betting value.
WHO HAS THE EDGE?
The Ben Askren vs. Jake Paul odds would make one believe Paul has the edge in this matchup, but I don’t see it. Askren is smart enough to shore up his weaknesses and has a team around him that can break down what he needs to do to defeat Paul. As the Ben Askren vs. Jake Paul fight date approaches, I expect the former MMA champion will have a complete plan in place to defeat Paul. I don’t see Paul’s team having that advantage because Askren has never competed in boxing and he never used his MMA striking to battle on the feet. I think it would be a huge mistake to underestimate Askren in this bout because he has been a high-level athlete for a long while.
Overall.I think the fact that Askren is an underdog in the Paul vs. Askren Betting odds gives Askren good betting value.
BEN ASKREN vs. JAKE PAUL FIGHT STATS:
|Jake Paul||Category||Ben Askren|
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Simply put, Jake Paul’s future as a viable boxing attraction is at stake in this fight. If Askren, who again, has zero professional boxing experience defies the odds and wins this fight, I suspect it could bring an abrupt end to Paul’s boxing career — at least as someone fans will be willing to pay to see compete.
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