Julio Cortez/Associated Press
Jake Paul wasted no time adding another highlight-reel clip to his growing collection Saturday night, earning a first-round technical-knockout win in a highly anticipated boxing match against retired mixed martial artist Ben Askren at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Paul dropped Askren with a right hook roughly 90 seconds into the fight. Askren tried to get up and continue fighting, but the referee waved off the fight because Askren didn’t look steady on his feet.
Here’s a look at the fight-ending punch, per SportsCenter:
After the fight, Paul said this proved he was a “real fighter,” per TalkSport.com’s Michael Benson:
Askren kept his post-fight response short:
Paul, a social-media star turned boxer, is now 3-0 in his professional career with three knockouts. The first came against a fellow YouTuber in AnEsonGib, and the second was against retired NBA star Nate Robinson. Askren represented a step up in legitimacy for Paul because of his background as an MMA welterweight champion and Olympic wrestler.
Anyone who waited out the four-hour card, which featured three other fights and a Coachella-worthy lineup of musical guests, in the hopes of seeing Paul get taken to task by a professional fighter was sorely disappointed.
Askren didn’t have a chance to teach the 24-year-old any lessons or employ any of the tricks one learns during a career in combat sports. Paul was sharp, focused and swift. Askren, who didn’t look like he was in his best shape, had nothing to offer in his first professional boxing match.
CBS Sports’ Luke Thomas wasn’t sure about the decision to stop the fight so early:
For those keeping track, Robinson, a former basketball player with no combat-sports experience, lasted a round longer than Askren against Paul.
Paul is surely going to use this performance to set up more fights and get even bigger paydays. He knows how to play the role of a heel, but now people might be more interested in seeing how far he can go as a fighter.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith wants to see Paul really challenge himself next time:
Facing a fighter with a striking background, either from MMA or boxing, is a logical next step for Paul. If an interesting name from the MMA or boxing world doesn’t step up, he could always go the celebrity route for his next bout. Eventually, he needs to take on someone who puts up greater resistance.