YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul is set to face off against former UFC star Ben Askren in just 22 days’ time — but their March 26 press conference almost saw Jake swing fists beforehand.
It’s no secret that Jake Paul loves some good trash talk. In fact, during the March 26 press conference to hype up his April 17 match, Paul claimed that he was grateful to Askren for talking smack and promoting the bout.
However, things went far past “trash talk” at several points during the presser. Ahead of the broadcast, Paul and his squad walked into an empty room that Askren had been resting in and called him out — even throwing what appeared to be a napkin at him.
Of course, things got more heated when the two stepped on stage. At the beginning of their interview, Paul stood to his feet to spout a string of profanity at his opponent, although it didn’t seem like Askren was game for getting in on the action just yet.
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“This is the f***ing fight game you p***y a** b***,” Jake taunted. “You sound like a middle-schooler! Shut the f*** up!”
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That wasn’t the end of the antics, though; when Paul and Askren were asked to pose for a staredown photoshoot behind a sheet of plexiglass, Paul repeatedly refused to take part in the pandemic precautions, urging Askren to faceoff with him directly.
Once the shoot was basically over, Askren exasperatedly gave Paul a light palm to the face, prompting Paul to shove Askren’s back as he walked away.
(Staredown starts at 2:29:40)
While staff were quick to get between the two fighters, it’s clear that Paul didn’t come to play, and Askren isn’t too shy to rile up the YouTube star.
Fans can tune in to Jake Paul vs Ben Askren on Triller, where a number of high-profile music artists like Snoop Dogg, Doja Cat, and even Justin Bieber will be performing, making this one of Jake Paul’s biggest events to date.