Social media celebrity Jake Paul took the next step in his boxing career Saturday night with a brutal first-round knockout of former MMA world champion Ben Askren in a scheduled eight-round cruiserweight fight on a Triller Fight Club pay-per-view.
Paul started his boxing career with knockouts of a fellow YouTuber and a former NBA slam dunk champion. The critics said he had yet to face a real fighter; on Saturday, he was paired with Askren. Paul proved his worth as he wasted little time putting hands on Askren and then stopped him with a scintillating right hand in under two minutes.
MORE: Why were Paul and Askren fighting? A callout lured ex-MMA champion out of retirement
It has been a stunning run for Paul, who decided to pursue a side career in boxing a few years ago. He clearly is taking the sport seriously, and he showed that he is much more than a social media star with his knockout of an opponent who was once considered among the best MMA fighters in the world.
Paul promised a first-round knockout, as did his opponent, although he was never known for his striking during his 12-year MMA career. It didn’t take long for the difference in skill to be on full display. Right from the opening bell, Paul fired a sharp jab as Askren was unable to find a way around. The two-time NCAA wrestling champion did his best to close the distance and even found a way to land a right hand that got Paul’s attention.
But then Paul stepped back, pumped a jab and fired a right hand that caught Askren flush. Askren collapsed in a heap to the canvas as the referee began the count. The 36-year-old Askren made it to his feet but was clearly in bad shape. Although he attempted to continue, the referee had seen enough and halted the fight at the 1:59 mark.
With three knockout victories now under his belt, Paul will certainly need a step up in competition. Perhaps an actual boxer will be next for the YouTube celebrity.
Here’s how it all went down.
Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren highlights
Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren results
(All times Eastern)
Round 1 (12:44 a.m.): Paul starts firing the jab. Askren lands a right hand. They clinch after Askren gives chase. Left hand by Paul lands. Straight right by Paul. Right hand by Paul and DOWN GOES ASKREN!!!! Askren makes it to his feet but he’s in trouble. The referee calls it. It’s OVER!
12:34 a.m.: Ben Askren makes his entrance to Parliament’s “Give Up The Funk” while Jake Paul follows with a giant robot accompanying him to the ring as M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” blasts from the arena speakers. This is insane. But we’re here now.
12:27 a.m.: And that concludes Justin Bieber’s performance. National anthem time. That means the main event is right around the corner.
12:14 a.m.: What a ridiculous scene here as Redkach sadly sold a body shot as a low blow and won’t continue. We go to the scorecards and Prograis wins by technical decision with scores of 60-54, 60-54 and 59-55. Before the main event, we get a Justin Bieber performance.
12:07 a.m.: Prograis drops Redkach with a beautiful right hand to the body. Somehow, Redkach begins selling it as a low blow and the referee deems it as such. He’s refusing to get up and is saying it’s a low blow. They are now putting Redkach on a stretcher while the replays show that Prograis clearly hit him with a clean punch. This is absurd.
12:01 a.m.: Prograis hurt Redkach badly in the fourth round and it now seems that he’s in survival mode. Meanwhile, Snoop Dogg just offered a Snagglepuss reference on commentary with “Heavens to murgatroyd.” If you aren’t sports entertained by this, then I don’t know what to tell you.
11:53 p.m.: Through three rounds it has been all Prograis. Redkach is game but he’s struggling to find his way inside against the former champion. But if he keeps coming forward, then he may find himself touching the canvas against the heavy-handed Prograis.
11:40 p.m.: You may not believe it but the co-main event is up next and there are actual boxers in it. Former WBA super lightweight champion Regis Prograis (25-1) is facing Ivan Redkach (23-5-1) in a 10-rounder.
11:30 p.m.: It’s a moral victory for Frank Mir as he lasted all six rounds against Steve Cunningham, who owns a knockdown over current WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. But Cunningham takes the unanimous decision with scores of 60-54, 60-54 and 58-56. Man, that was entertaining thanks to the Golden Boy and his unique commentary. Oh, it’s time for a Major Lazer performance? Alrighty, then . . .
11:18 p.m.: Entering the fourth round, it has been all Cunningham as Mir is unable to do much. But none of this is nearly as entertaining as Oscar De La Hoya on commentary. He’s yelling and saying the most random things. “Your mother told you not to smother” and “Deflate the balloon, Frank Mir” are among the hits. If there was a highlight package of De La Hoya quotes, it would be worth your money.
11:10 p.m.: Cunningham is beating up Mir after a round but the real story is Oscar De La Hoya on commentary. He’s clearly been dipped in Snoop stash and is gone mad on commentary.
11:03 p.m.: It has been one hour and 22 minutes since the last fight. That ends now. Up next, it’s Steve Cunningham vs. former UFC champion Frank Mir. Cunningham will be giving up 70 pounds to the former MMA fighter.
11 p.m.: Following an excellent performance from Doja Cat that included songs such as “Streets,” we got a video tribute to the late, great DMX. What other boxing pay-per-view would you get something like this? That’s right. None.
10:43 p.m.: Da Crazy Hawaiian just obliterated The Bear Man with a monster slap that drew an impressive “Woooooooo” out of Ric Flair. If you thought we’d be getting another fight next, then you’re wrong. Up next is a performance by Doja Cat.
10:38 p.m. : It’s time for our next fight. Well, not boxing. It’s the SlapStrike exhibition bout between U.S. champion Da Crazy Hawaiian and The Bear Man with Ric Flair calling the match.
10:34 p.m.: Before we get to the next fight, it’s the world premiere of the supergroup Mt. Westmore. The collective of Too $hort, E-40, Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg each performed their solo hits before their collaboration together. It’s almost been an hour since the last fight.
10:07 p.m. : Saweetie’s performance will go down in the Milli Vanilli Hall of Fame of performances. She performed her hits, including “Best Friend” with Doja Cat, but it was obvious that she lip-synched the entire time. We’re awaiting the next fight, between Steve Cunningham and former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir.
9:54 p.m.: As we await the next fight, we get a performance by Saweetie. Prior to hitting the stage, we get a segment with Saweetie and Snoop grabbing a bite to eat and the rapper deciding to put hot Cheetos on a slice of pizza to bring out the flavor. That’s the kind of night we’re having, folks.
9:41 p.m.: As you may have suspected, Fournier won by TKO when Reykon didn’t answer the bell for the third round. A left hook put Reykon down in the second round. Why Reykon got up, we’ll never know. Fournier lands another left hook that causes Reykon to take a knee after a delayed reaction. Fournier allowed Reykon to get out of the round but his corner rescued the artist so he could go back to making music.
9:25 p.m.: Following The Black Keys performance, we go to the commentary team, and Ray Flores, who is known for his professionalism, has joined the fray with his own foul-mouthed commentary. This is so unique. Undefeated Joe Fournier (8-0, 8 KOs) faces reggaeton artist Reykon (0-0) in the first fight of the night. This fight happened over a girl. Yup. Throw logic out the window and enjoy the night.
9:05 p.m.: We kick off the Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren PPV with Snoop and Jaleel White as White promotes his “Purple Urkle” strain. After that advertisement, Snoop is joined by Pete Davidson and Diplo. Some curse words fly and Davidson says he wouldn’t have an issue with Snoop or Diplo having sexual relations with his mother. The Black Keys are the first performance of the evening. This is going to be one hell of a night.
Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren start time
- Date: Saturday, April 17
- Time: 9 p.m. ET | 6 p.m. PT
The Jake Paul and Ben Askren fight card is scheduled to start at 9 p.m. ET . There are three undercard fights plus a variety of musical performances before the main event, so Paul and Askren are expected to make their ring walks around midnight.
How to watch the Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren fight
- Live stream: FITE.tv, Triller app
- PPV price: $49.99
Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren is available to stream live on Triller Fight Club . The fight costs $49.99 on pay-per-view.
Triller Fight Club is an entertainment platform from the social media company Triller. All you really need to know is that the fight will be available to stream online (in any browser) or through the FITE app, provided you are connected to the internet. The FITE app is available on your phone, tablet, web browser and TV. And if you miss the event live, a replay will be made available with your PPV purchase.
Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren results
- Jake Paul def. Ben Askren via 1st-round TKO (1:59).
- Regis Prograis def. Ivan Redkach via technical decision (60-54, 60-54, 59-54).
- Steve Cunningham def. Frank Mir via unanimous decision (60-54, 60-54, 58-56).
- Joe Fournier def. Reykon via 2nd-round TKO (3:00).