YouTube star turned boxer Jake Paul has been working hard to improve his in-ring skills, but let the record show he doesn’t need any help to improve his fight promotion skills. He generates heat like an all-time wrestling heel, and there doesn’t seem to be many lines he won’t cross. For example: this week he had one of his buddies call up the trainer for his upcoming opponent, Ben Askren, pretending to be a journalist for ESPN. His friend asked a series of mostly legitimate questions before Paul took the phone and got very sexually graphic very fast.
In short, Paul asked the trainer, K9 Bundrage, a former IBF Junior Middleweight Champion, if he had any mouthwash because he was going to need to clean the “cock taste” out of Ben Askren’s throat. Not surprisingly, the YouTube star recorded the entire exchange and later ran it on his YouTube channel. It currently has more than 1.2 million views. You can check out the madness below…
Jake Paul and Ben Askren’s fight is scheduled to take place on April 17th. Askren is a former Olympic wrestler who found success in mixed martial arts. He has never boxed professionally, however, which has many wondering how he might stack up against Paul. The YouTuber is light on experience, as well, but he has won both times he stepped into the ring, including his last fight in which he knocked out former NBA player Nate Robinson in dramatic fashion.
Jake Paul has been open about wanting to transition into the fight game. Pay per view events can be pretty lucrative, and with more than twenty million YouTube subscribers, he has quite a base to pull from. His earlier fight with Robinson generated more than a million buys, assumedly because the interest he was drawing on the undercard was very different than the interest Mike Tyson was drawing on the main event. That feels like a repeatable formula, but with Askren not having anywhere close to the same pop culture pull as Tyson, we’ll have to see what the interest looks like this time.
Obviously a lot of people have thoughts about Jake Paul and his brother Logan Paul, who is also transitioning into the fight game. Hell, sometimes the brothers even have negative thoughts about each other. They’ve gotten into more than their share of flame wars and have even been known to criticize people’s wives. It’s easy to see why many would have a negative reaction to that, but Jake Paul is also an injection of publicity for a sport that doesn’t have the same pull it once did. As such, this might be the shot of adrenaline boxing needs to regain some momentum, and if that means having to deal with the occasional obscene prank phone call, maybe it’s worth it for boxing in the long run.