Many fighters in the MMA community have questioned Ben Askren’s stand-up heading into Saturday night’s boxing match with YouTuber turned Boxer Jake Paul. It appears that CM Punk is not one of them.
During a recent interview with TMZ Sports, Punk endorsed his Roufusport teammate heading into the highly-anticipated fight in Atlanta.
“It’s easy to sit on your couch and say that Ben isn’t a striker,” Punk said. “He’s competed at a very high level in two different sports, and mindset is a big thing. Ben is going to approach it to the best of his natural ability to win the fight.”
Askren and Paul are all set to compete in a Boxing main event on Saturday night hosted by Triller Fight Club. Askren is making his professional boxing debut, while Paul is undefeated with a 2-0 record over retired basketball player Nate Robinson and fellow YouTuber AnEsonGib.
While Askren has never been known to be an accomplished striker, he has competed with some of the most feared men in the business. He has wins during his time in Bellator over Douglas Lima and Andrey Koreshkov, and beat UFC veteran Robbie Lawler by submission after surviving an early ground-and-pound barrage.
Punk’s recent endorsement of Askren is in the minority, as many in the MMA community; including Jorge Masvidal and Mike Perry, have questioned Askren’s chances in a boxing ring. Askren has worked with legendary boxing trainer Freddie Roach leading up to the fight with Paul.
“I know a lot of people are counting him out, but no one should be surprised if he wins.” Punk said.
It was also reported that both fighters will make a minimum of $500,000 for their end of the fight purse. There’s quite a bit of bad blood between the two, especially after Paul recently made controversial remarks that he is already showing signs of CTE, comments in which he quickly retracted.
All eyes will be on Atlanta on Saturday night as Paul and Askren collide in one of the most anticipated boxing matches in recent years.
What do you think about CM Punk’s comments in support of Ben Askren? What are your predictions for the fight?