YouTube star Jake Paul will battle former MMA champion and UFC veteran Ben Askren in the boxing ring on Saturday night. The unlikely fight is part of a sudden surge of celebrity-driven boxing pay-per-view events and is certain to draw plenty of attention when it goes down from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Paul has taken his boxing training seriously, by all accounts, but Askren represents the third straight opponent who doesn’t come from the world of boxing. Ahead of the Askren fight, Paul has knocked out a fellow YouTube influencer as well as scoring a viral knockout of former NBA star Nate Robinson.
Askren went undefeated in his first 19 fights in mixed martial arts, picking up championships in Bellator and ONE before joining the UFC. That UFC run ended on back-to-back losses and with Askren retiring, stating he was told his longstanding hip issues would require a full joint replacement.
CBS Sports was with you throughout the entire way on Saturday, so be sure to follow along with the live results and highlights below.
Boxing is back in a big way on Saturday night from Atlanta. YouTube star turned pro boxer Jake Paul makes his return to the ring this weekend when he takes on former UFC fighter and multiple promotion welterweight champ Ben Askren atop a four-fight PPV card promoted by Triller Fight Club. The two will clash inside the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which will also play host to numerous musical acts throughout the night, including Snoop Dogg and Justin Bieber.
Paul, whose brother Logan has also made a pair of appearances in the boxing ring, has looked the part to say the least. While he hasn’t faced anyone close to a professional boxer, Paul has scored a pair of quick knockouts to establish himself in the ring. He finished fellow YouTube star AnEsonGib in 2019 before thumping former NBA player Nate Robinson last November on the Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. undercard. Askren may not be a pro boxer — he’s making his debut in the ring on Saturday — but he is a competent combat athlete. Askren won multiple world titles in Bellator MMA and ONE Championship before making the leap to UFC.
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, including a lookahead to Saturday’s showdown in Atlanta with UFC Hall of Famer ‘Suga’ Rashad Evans.
The rest of the card fills out in an interesting way. The co-main event is a legitimate pro showdown at 140 pounds when former champion Regis Prograis takes on veteran Ivan Redkach. Prograis is looking to get back into title contention with another win after dropping his belt two fights ago. Another former UFC fighter is in a featured bout when Frank Mir takes on Steve Cunningham in a heavyweight contest. Mir, who held the UFC heavyweight title two times in his career, has never boxed professionally as he faces a former cruiserweight champion in Cunningham who has not fought since 2017.
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 -165 vs. Ben Askren +140, cruiserweights
- Regis Prograis -4500 vs. Ivan Redkach +1600, junior welterweights
- Steve Cunningham -1600 vs. Frank Mir +900, 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: Fight card predictions and main event picks
- Brookhouse: Fighter salaries on the main card revealed
- Brookhouse: Three biggest storylines to follow in Atlanta
- The latest sideshow attraction in boxing is ready for its closeup. While the days of seeing reality TV and former child stars in the ring has seemingly gone by the wayside, YouTube and TikTok stars have taken the mantle with high levels of success. The next iteration comes on Saturday night in Atlanta when Jake Paul faces off with former UFC fighter and two-promotion welterweight champion Ben Askren on Triller Fight Club (9 p.m. ET, pay-per-view).
The bout headlines a card loaded with oddities, including a former boxer-turned nightclub mogul vs. a musician and another boxer vs. UFC showdown at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Fight week has taken some ugly turns, with Paul accused of sexual assault by a TikTok influencer, as well as his own claims that he is now showing early signs of brain trauma.
“It’s a dangerous sport,” Paul said during media day for the event. “That’s why, when people question my dedication to it, it’s like, I’m showing up every single day. I’m putting my mental health on the line, my brain is on the line. Like you said, I’ve gone and gotten brain scans and have early signs of CTE.”
He later walked back his claim on CTE.
Despite all the bluster and trolling, Paul has actually shown decent skill in his first two appearances. Even though it was against extremely low levels of competition and not pro fighters, Paul scored a pair of knockouts that went viral. First he stopped AnEsonGib, a fellow YouTube star, before brutalizing former NBA player Nate Robinson last November.
Paul and his brother, Logan, have taken the training seriously, at the very least, and enlisted some top names to assist in preparation for fights.
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, including a complete lookahead to the action with UFC Hall of Famer ‘Suga’ Rashad Evans below.