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Teddy Atlas lectures Ben Askren’s team for his performance against Jake Paul

Image: Teddy Atlas lectures Ben Askren's team for his performance against Jake Paul

By Allan Fox: Trainer Teddy Atlas is disgusted with how badly trained Ben Askren looked in his fight last Saturday night against YouTuber Jake Paul in their main event match on Triller pay-per-view.

Atlas feels that the trainer for Askren should have gotten him a lot better prepared for the fight than what he saw because he looked inept. Askren made Jake Paul look better than he actually is.

In watching leaked sparring of Jake, he wasn’t in the least impressive, but his sparring partner was a heck of a lot better than Askren.

The former MMA fighter Askren, 36, appeared woefully ill-prepared before getting stopped in the first round by the 24-year-old Paul at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

It’s not that Paul (3-0, 3 KOs) did anything special. He basically took advantage of Askren throwing a slow jab, which he countered with a right hand over the top that dropped him.

The referee did the rest by quickly stopping the fight after Askren got back to his feet.

Askren’s MMA fans were obviously expecting more from him, but he wasn’t prepared in the last. He looked like he was a good 30 lbs overweight, sporting a potbelly that one normally sees in non-athletes.

Askren was coming off of hip surgery, which obviously didn’t help his performance. It’s unclear whether Askren having recent hip surgery was the clincher for why Jake Paul chose him as an opponent.

Atlas says Askren should have been better

“Whoever’s training him [Askren], you’ve taken a check; then you’re responsible. You got to make sure it’s better than that,” said Atlas to The FIGHT with Teddy Atlas in scolding the training team for Ben Askren for his loss to Jake Paul.

Image: Teddy Atlas lectures Ben Askren's team for his performance against Jake Paul

“Again, it’s his job, I get it, I get it, but still, you got to prepare better than that; I’m sorry, people don’t like it, don’t like it.

“I’d take it too if it was me. If I trained him and he did that, I’d say, ‘Oh my God, I got to turn in my license.’ The one thing you can’t do is this [Atlas throws a jab].

“We know that he [Jake Paul] throws a nice right-hand counter over a jab well. So you don’t do that. You’re better off not even through the jab.

“I always say a jab is great, but it’s a dangerous weapon if you don’t use it the right way because it leaves a hole for a counter right hand.

“Yeah, it’s a great weapon.  If you throw it slow and at the wrong distance, it’s a bad punch to throw because it leads to a counter right hand,” said Atlas.

YouTube video

In listening to Askren explain his problems learning how to box, he says he had been told countless times not to throw a slow jab by his trainers. This was a habit that he had from his decade-long time in the MMA.

Askren said he would purposefully throw a slow jab so that his opponents would throw a right-hand counter at him.

He would then take them down to the mat and start wrestling, which was his bread & butter move, being that he was an Olympic wrestler. In the end, it was too hard for Askren to learn how to fight differently in an 11-week camp.

All the training that Askren had done in the last 10 years in MMA was too well ingrained for him to break the habits. On top of that, Jake was faster, taller, younger a lot more powerful. Everything was stacked against him in this fight.

Is Triller sustainable?

“Oscar de la Hoya said the triller fight club was a smashing success, said it was trending towards two million pay-per-view buys if you can believe that,” said Chris Mannix on Jabs on DAZN.

“But there has been some negativity around it as well. So I’ll ask you this, is Triller good or bad for boxing?”

“It’s a good thing, competition is always a good thing because it forces people to put out their best product and it forces everyone to pay the fighters, entertain the fans and bring the best out of the networks, and the promoters and make the best fights for the fans as well,” said Sergio Mora. “Competition is good. I’m a true believer in capitalism. Only the strong survive.”

“I think it’s fine for what it is. If you’re interested in Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren and fights like that, more power to you,” said Mannix.

“But if you’re boxing, you should be a little bit embarrassed about what happened last Saturday night.

“You had Tony Harrison, who put up decent numbers on Fox and Demetrius Andrade. These fights and events were dwarfed from what we saw on Triller.

YouTube video

“I have no problem with what Triller is doing. These types of circus-like events have been part of boxing for decades. Butterbean was an exhibition sideshow for a long time, and Muhammad Ali fought a wrestler.

“So I have no problems with this becoming a consistent part, but I just hope that boxing wakes up and sees all these people buying a boxing pay-per-view.

“Maybe if you put on a good show, you’ll be able to draw similar numbers. Now, the question I have for Triller is it sustainable? We’ve seen big companies make splashy entrances before. Can Triller hold up?”

For Triller to do well, they’re going to need to keep Jake Paul winning. They’re also going to need to have more real boxers fighting, and not just retired guys like Evander Holyfield, Roy Jones Jr, and Mike Tyson.

Fans didn’t care too much last Saturday about 40+-year-old Steve Cunningham fighting on the card, and there wasn’t too much interest from fans in the addition of 58-year-old Holyfield to the June 5th Triller card.

Triller can’t count on Teofimo Lopez fighting on their cards because the only reason they got him is his promoter Top Rank didn’t want to pay a King’s ransom for his low-level title defense against George Kambosos Jr.  So, without Jake Paul, we could see Triller sink quickly.

The production costs by Triller in including musical artists for their boxing cards have got to be sky-high. Just how long can Triller afford to do this once they start whiffing on boxing events that don’t sell.

All promoters deal with those types of cards that don’t sell, but it could be not good for Triller because they have such high production costs due to the musical artists that perform at their shows.

Triller’s success depends on Jake Paul

“That’s why I want to say, ‘no,’ because it was good for boxing because everyone will have to be on their toes, but I don’t think it’s going to be sustainable,” said Mora about Triller.

Image: Teddy Atlas lectures Ben Askren's team for his performance against Jake Paul

“We’ve seen this mix of music and boxing before. Cedrick Kusher, who was a concert promoter and boxing promoter, he tried this in the early 2000s with Thunderbox in the heavyweight division.

“It didn’t work out. HBO tried it with KO Nation, and it didn’t work out. The production was too costly. I think it’s going to be all over the place. Music and boxing don’t mix.

“The only time I want to hear music is when the fighters are exiting their locker room going to the arena because that’s the tradition. Other than that, I don’t want music blaring. I want to hear the roar of the fans, I want to hear chatter, I want to hear everything going on because that’s part of the environment.

“No, I don’t think it’s going to have longevity, or it’s going to be sustainable as your trying to combine music and boxing at the same time.”

I think it’s sustainable as long as you can keep finding Jake Paul opponents that people are interested in,” said Mannix about Triller. “That’s where I think they may run into some problems.

“Jake Paul against Tyrone Woodley if that comes to pass, that’s actually kind of interesting. They’ve had some good trash talk back and forth, but at some point, the opponent well for guys that they will buy for, and that’s where thriller will run into some problems.”

As long as Jake keeps winning and he’s picking the right opponents, Triller will do okay. Where things could go wrong for Jake and Triller is if he’s matched against someone a little too good, and he ends up getting badly exposed.

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