Eddie Alvarez: Ben Askren Losing To Jake Paul Would Be Bad For MMA
Eddie Alvarez is looking forward to the boxing bout between fellow former Bellator champion Ben Askren and YouTuber Jake Paul, scheduled to take place on April 17th.
Paul is a 2-0 professional boxer, with his most recent win coming against NBA star Nate Robinson last November. Whereas Askren, an Olympic wrestler and multi-promotion MMA champion, will be making his pro boxing debut.
The social media celebrity is the favourite ahead of their boxing bout, but unlike the majority of fans and critics, Alvarez isn’t counting Askren out.
Speaking to MMA Fighting, Alvarez commended Askren’s positive attitude in his career and life as a whole.
“Ben’s a unique guy,” Alvarez said. “You don’t know what to expect with Ben Askren. That goes for him just as a person, that’s how he wrestled. You can’t run from yourself, that’s the type of person he is. I just seen him today on Twitter, he said, ‘In case you guys didn’t notice, I don’t give a s*** about what any of you guys think of me here.’ And I’m just like, that’s the key to happiness, right? He’s figured it out already and I think everybody else needs to figure it out. But he’s doing his own thing. He’s ‘Groovy Ben.’”
Askren has competed against proven athletes in wrestling and MMA for over two decades, yet he is set to have his biggest payday against Paul, who Alvarez believes is a relatively easier opponent for the 36 year old.
“As far as the fight with Jake Paul, I mean, it will probably be the largest money fight of his career,” Alvarez speculated. “So anybody like Ben who’s spent their life in combat sports and given their life to something really dangerous, I think they get a chance to reap the benefits of their name, of their brand and everything afterwards by doing what they would see as seemingly an easier competitive match than what the majority of their career was. I think that’s how Ben sees it.”
Paul vs Askren
Alvarez thinks Paul is the better boxer. But with numerous wrestling and MMA accolades to his name, ‘The Underground King’ says Askren is a proven winner, and knows how to turn things in his favour.
“In actuality, do I feel like Jake’s a better boxer? After seeing Jake over the past year or so, kind of how committed he is and what he’s doing, yeah, I do feel like he’s a better boxer than Ben,” Alvarez said. “But there’s some intangibles that you really can’t measure that have nothing to do with boxing. That’s like, Ben Askren, he’s just a winner in general. The guy’s been winning longer and knows how to win more than Jake Paul does. So you can’t disregard them kind of intangibles. Hodge Trophy winner, the list goes on and on. NCAA champion. Some of them things, them intangibles, you can’t disregard them.
“Do I feel like Jake’s a better boxer? Yeah. Do I feel like Ben Askren’s just a frickin’ winner altogether, yeah. And I’m not gonna disregard that. I’m looking forward to the spectacle. I’ll be tuning in.”
In recent months, Paul has called out a number of MMA fighters, including Askren, Conor McGregor, Jorge Masvidal, and Dillon Danis, claiming that he could ‘beat them up’ in a boxing ring. Should he beat the former ONE Championship and Bellator champion, Alvarez believes the 24 year old is going to have the bragging rights. Not only over ‘Funky’, but over the whole MMA community.
“It is because they know the consequences of Ben getting beat,” Alvarez said. “It’s gonna be this guy, YouTuber, claiming that because he beat Ben Askren that he was right and he can beat any MMA guy. He’s out there saying I’ll beat these MMA guys up because they don’t train boxing and he gets a win over Ben, he’s the worst guy to lose to. He’s gonna be as loud as ever.
“He’s gonna say, ‘See? I told you guys so.’ Oh man, it’s gonna be a bitter pill to swallow for a lot of fighters in MMA and a lot of the fans in MMA if this guy figures out a way to win.”
Speaking to The Schmo, former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley revealed that he will be in Askren’s corner when he faces Paul.
Who do you think wins the boxing bout between Ben Askren and Jake Paul on April 17th?