Javier Mendez, Khabib Nurmagomedov's trainer, sees Jake Paul as the favorite for his boxing match against Ben Askren. However, he warned the YouTuber could easily succumb if he falls into the former UFC welterweight's game.
Internet celebrity turned professional boxer Jake Paul is set to have his third professional boxing fight on April 17 against Askren, a former Bellator and ONE welterweight champion with a brief passage through the UFC.
The unusual matchup of a YouTuber against a former top-tier MMA fighter has been dragging attention across the combat sports world. Speaking on Mike Swick's podcast, Mendez shared his thoughts on the upcoming bout:
"Ben Askren is a multi-level athlete at the highest level and not just wrestling, you know, in MMA. I mean, this guy is a high-level jujitsu guy. He is high-level in so many different areas that you can never count him out. As a boxer, yeah, he's not much of a boxer, but as a fighter, he is a big fighter. And sometimes you don't need to be a boxer to beat a fighter, you have to be a fighter, and Ben Askren is a fighter," said Mendez.
"So, you know, on the technical side and the better boxing, Jake Paul's got that all day long. The power side? Jake Paul. The speed? Jake Paul. The size advantage? Jake Paul. The experience in boxing? Jake Paul. But the actual fight at that world level competition? Ben Askren. If Jake can't put him away, he better be able to have enough energy to save himself past the fifth, fourth round on up. Because if he's not, he's going to drown. Ben will drown him," added Mendez.
How could things go wrong for Jake Paul against Ben Askren, according to Javier Mendez?
Javier Mendez, notable for training multiple MMA fighters that became UFC champions, believes that Ben Askren could quickly diffuse Jake Paul's fight plan if he plays what the coach calls "dirty boxing."
According to Mendez, Jake Paul can't enter the fight with too much energy, or he will get drained by his opponent:
"It's a situation where it's a guy that knows how to wrestle, a guy that knows how to play dirty boxing really well, versus a guy that just knows how to box and doesn't really know how to play dirty boxing. Jake Paul does not know how to play dirty boxing. So, if Ben can come out there and play that game, then he's got a great chance. If he can't get Jake Paul into a dirty boxing scenario, it's going to be a long night for Ben," analyzed Mendez.
"I favorite Jake, only because of the size and the fact that he's been boxing and training boxing, and he's got really good coaching: BJ Flores was himself a next heavyweight contender. So, he's trained really well. Ben hasn't been boxing. He's been fighting, but he hasn't been boxing. So, I give the edge to Jake Paul because of that reason. But don't be surprised if Ben drowns him," added Mendez.