Jake Paul vs Ben Askren: who won, and who the YouTuber could be fighting next – from Conor McGregor to Tommy Fury
It was a bout that had been hyped for months, and the latest boxing match to draw worldwide attention despite neither of the competitors being professionals of the sport.
Instead, YouTube sensation Jake Paul and former UFC fighter Ben Askren relied on celebrity, intrigue and spectacle to sell tickets, and Saturday night’s (17 April) ‘Triller Fight Club’ event was arguably more about appearances from Justin Bieber than it was any fighting.
In the end though, the long-awaited face-off at the 74,000-seated capacity Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta was over in less than two minutes.
Here is everything you need to know about it.
What happened at the fight?
"I see myself as an elite fighter right now," Paul said before the fight. "A young prospect with a lot of motivation, a lot of hunger and I think people see me as [an] amateur.”
The US-held match saw Askren enter the boxing arena for the first time, with 19 wins and two losses to his name from a 10-year pro MMA career.
Paul appeared to be the bookies' favourite going into the fight, and he managed to beat the ex-UFC star in one minute and 59 seconds, forcing a referee stoppage after knocking out his opponent.
"It's been four months. I've been in training camp every day," said Paul following the bout. "This is the craziest moment of my life.
"I told y'all I was going to do it in the first round. I told y'all I'm a real fighter. I don't know how many times I've got to prove myself this is for real."
The glitzy show surrounding the fight was longer than the bout itself, with performances from the Black Keys and Ice Cube taking up more of the broadcast than any in-ring action.
Who’s next for Jake Paul?
As he recovered from his loss, Askren announced that the fight with Paul would be his last, prompting the YouTuber to goadingly tweet: “Who should I retire next?"
His millions of Twitter followers waded in, with calls for him to take on everyone from internationally renowned UFC star Conor McGregor – to Love Island’s Tommy Fury.
After Paul repeatedly called McGregor out in January, the Irish UFC star ruled out a bout with the YouTuber.
But before his fight with Askren, Paul claimed a match with McGregor was "a lot closer than anyone thinks", and that it could happen “in the next 24 months."
It’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not the fight will take place.
If it does happen, it will likely be one of the biggest events in recent boxing history, and will no doubt see those with no prior interest in the sport tuning in worldwide.
Tommy Fury – professional boxer and brother of world champion Tyson - found himself trending on Twitter soon after the Askren fight, with fans clamouring for the Brit to throw punches with Paul.
Another name in the mix is that of Floyd Mayweather; brother Logan Paul made sure the 15-time world champion was aware of Askren’s loss on social media.
Other fighters to add their names to the hat include British entrepreneur Joe Fournier, who called out Jake Paul after beating Colombian musician Reykon in the first match on the card, and MMA fighter Dillon Danis, who has vowed to “save” mixed martial arts.
Will there be another Jake Paul fight?
But it could be that Paul doesn’t see another fight.
He has found himself mired in controversy in recent days, after TikTok star Justine Paradise alleged the YouTuber forced her to perform oral sex on him and touched her without her consent in 2019.
In a 20-minute video shared online, Paradise said she and Paul had met several times, and that the alleged assault took place at his home in California. She said Paul took her to his room before assaulting her, despite her telling him “no”.
“He didn’t ask for consent or anything,” Paradise alleged. “That’s not okay. On no level at all is that okay.”
Paradise said she had not come forward sooner because she signed a non-disclosure agreement upon entering the property.
Paul said the allegations are “100 per cent false” and suggested the timing of the accusation was designed to draw attention from his fight with Askren.
He said he plans to pursue legal action against Paradise, claiming she is guilty of defamation.