Ben Askren makes his walk to the ring against Jake Paul at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. | Photo by Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for Triller
“What do I gain by that? The answer is nothing. I would actually lose a lot. It’s not something that would ever cross my mind.” Ben Askren can’t understand why some pundits have accused him of taking a dive in the wake of his knockout loss to Jake Paul at Triller Fight Club this past Saturday.
‘Funky’ vehemently denies the accusations and says that — as a competitor — the thought of throwing a fight isn’t something that would ever cross his mind.
“It definitely didn’t happen,” Askren told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani following his first-round KO loss to Paul (h/t BJPenn.com). “I got hit. The question I have for those people is, what do I gain by it? I told you guys what I made for this fight.”
“It was a very nice paycheck,” he continued. “I’m also not destitute and poor. What do I gain by that? The answer is nothing. I would actually lose a lot. It’s not something that would ever cross my mind.”
Askren did get back to his feet after being dropped, but the referee waved the fight off. The former ONE and Bellator welterweight champ is disappointed with the stoppage but he understands the referee’s decision.
“I thought I was ready to fight,” Askren said. “I told the guy I was ready to fight. The last thing I’m going to do is blow up at a referee over what I think is not the right call. That’s just immature, and there’s no efficiency to it. It’s not going to solve anything. If anything, it’s going to get me fined by the commission.”
Despite being KO’d in the first round Askren still isn’t sold on Paul’s boxing skills and thinks the YouTuber needs to test himself against a legitimate boxer.
“Maybe he’s good. I don’t think so. I think I just didn’t defend the overhand right really well, and maybe he does land that punch hard. But it’s still TBD, because he’s gonna fight probably somebody who’s significantly better at boxing than I am. If he beats them, we’ll see.”