Askren made his boxing debut against Paul back in April where he suffered a first-round KO loss. It was a disappointing result for “Funky” who was trash-talking quite a bit and thought Paul wasn’t a very good boxer.
Despite Askren losing to Paul, he says he still didn’t respect Paul’s skills. However, that changed on Sunday night when the brash YouTuber-turned-boxer beat Tyron Woodley by split decision. Although Askren thinks Woodley won, he says Paul has gained his respect.
“The other thing that happened, for me, I gained a lot of respect for Jake Paul. I know he got a TKO on me but I knew I wasn’t very good at boxing,” Askren said on an Instagram video (via MMAFighting). “I told all of you that I’m not a very good boxer I just think I’m better than he is. So when he got a knockdown on me, yeah whatever, he didn’t earn my respect. Watching him versus Tyron, I have a lot of respect for Tyron’s striking ability and I think Tyron won the fight.
“But either way, it was a highly competitive bout and I think it’s pretty evident – and the only way you’re not gonna think this is if you really hate the guy and I don’t hate him, I’m whatever towards him – it’s pretty evident to me that he’s worked pretty hard at this and he’s pretty tough. He took some pretty big shots from Tyron and he kept on fighting. So in that respect, he has earned my respect, for sure, in a way that he didn’t in my fight or any of his fights previously,” Askren continued.
There’s no question Jake Paul has taken boxing seriously as he spent the past three years of his life training and working on the craft. He also has millions of dollars to spend on himself to bring in the best coaches and training partners. He’s even moved to Puerto Rico, away from Los Angeles and the partying to have his focus on boxing.
With the win over Woodley, Paul improved to 4-0 and it’s uncertain what will be next for him. As for Askren, he is retired and it’s almost certain he won’t return again.
What do you make of Ben Askren saying Jake Paul has gotten his respect?