Freddie Roach: Ben Askren will do a “public service” by “punishing” Jake Paul

The legendary trainer has backed Ben Askren to defeat YouTube star Jake Paul on Saturday night…

Freddie Roach does not believe that Jake Paul will be able to live with Ben Askren when they meet in the ring on Saturday night.

This long-awaited crossover boxing match takes place this weekend in Atlanta, Georgia.

The YouTube star goes into this fight on the back of two wins as a professional boxer. He is yet to beat anyone of note yet, though. His wins came against fellow YouTuber AnEsonGib and former NBA star Nate Robinson.

Paul has been calling out the likes of Conor McGregor and Dillon Danis, but a fight against Askren was eventually signed.

Askren held the welterweight world title in both Bellator and One Championship. He also had a brief career in the UFC.

The 36-year-old is considered to be one of the best grapplers of his generation in MMA, but he is perhaps best known for being knocked out inside five seconds by Jorge Masvidal in 2019.

He retired from MMA later that year and in the lead up to this fight, he has been working with Roach.

Ben Askren looking relaxed ahead of Jake Paul bout

In an interview with, Roach suggested that Askren needs to "crowd" Paul on Saturday night:

"I do share Dana's [White] confidence. I'd really like Ben to win this fight and I'll be tuning in to watch it. I can't see Jake maintaining the pace Ben will be dictating. And once Jake begins to slow down, Ben will punish him.

"Ben is a pro and a good finisher. That comes from experience at an elite level. What has Jake Paul learned from the level of opposition he has faced? Ben knocking Jake Paul on his ass will be a nice YouTube highlight. I told Ben that beating Jake Paul would be more than a victory, it would be a public service.

"Ben has enjoyed success at an elite level against opposition that is far superior to the opponents Jake has faced. Ben knows this and it should give him enormous confidence going into this fight. Ben's power and conditioning are miles ahead of Jake. Ben just needs to crowd Jake.

"If Ben fights like Joe Frazier, he's going to win like Joe Frazier. Ben will need to be on the attack at all times. I think it will be an exciting fight.

"He has impressive power in his punches and his conditioning is off the charts. I don't think Jake will be able to keep up with Ben much less keep Ben off of him."

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Will Askren get the better of Paul?

There are plenty of talking points heading into this crossover fight. Paul has impressed in his fights so far, but you cannot truly take him seriously until he does it against someone with a legitimate fighting background.

He has the chance to do this against Askren, and taking this bout appears to be a wise move. The MMA veteran has shown through his career that he is a much better wrestler than he is a boxer.

Askren has never really shown any boxing prowess, which means that some are favouring the YouTuber for this fight.

Paul has been talking a big game, suggesting that he is a legit boxer and he wants fights with McGregor and co. If he is as good as he thinks he is, he will beat Askren. But if not, the former world champion will most likely expose him.

While an Askren win would be the most popular outcome, this fight pitting a former UFC star against a YouTuber is nowhere near as predictable as you would expect, which makes this a really intriguing matchup. 

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