YouTube star Jake Paul faces former MMA champion Ben Askren in an eight-round cruiserweight battle Saturday night at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia (PPV, 9 p.m. ET). The fight will headline a Triller Fight Club card that also includes a 10-round junior welterweight fight between former titlist Regis Prograis and Ivan Redkach, and the return of former cruiserweight titlist Steve Cunningham against former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir.
Paul (2-0, 2 KOs), 24, of Cleveland, Ohio, last fought on Nov. 28, scoring a brutal KO of former NBA star Nate Robinson in Round 2. In his professional debut, Paul defeated fellow YouTuber Ali Eson Gib in January 2020.
Last week, Paul was accused by Justine Paradise of forcing her into a sex act without consent. Paul said in an statement that those allegations are false.
Askren, 36, is a former decorated amateur wrestler and MMA standout. He won welterweight titles for both Bellator and ONE Championship. Askren also competed in the UFC, but retired in 2019 after consecutive loses to Jorge Masvidal and Demian Maia. This will be his professional boxing debut.
Follow here for live undercard results and analysis.
Fight in progress: Steve Cunningham vs. Frank Mir, 8 rounds, heavyweights
Fournier stops Reykon for his ninth KO victory
Reykon lasted longer than a lot of people might have expected. But Joe Fournier did what he needed to do.
Reykon, the reggaeton performer from Colombia, did not come out of his corner to start the third round, giving Fournier another stoppage victory.
Fournier (9-0, 9 KO) knocked Reykon down in the first minute of the second round with a well-placed left hook to the chin — the first real punch Fournier landed. Fournier toyed with Reykon throughout the fight. Reykon (0-1) went down a second time in the second round after a body shot from Fournier, but got up a second time.
Fournier said postfight he wanted the fight to last four or five rounds, but it didn’t go that long.
On the Triller broadcast, they said this fight started — and ended up being scheduled — after Fournier and Reykon quarreled at a nightclub — something Fournier confirmed after the fight. Instead of settling things in the club, they instead decided to go to the ring for the 34-year-old Reykon’s first-ever boxing match.
After the fight Fournier, 38, called out Jake Paul. Fournier hadn’t fought since 2016 and while he had knocked out all of his opponents before Saturday, at the time he fought them, they had a combined record of 29-116-1.
BOSKOE100, Gonzoe exhibition ends in draw
The three-round exhibition between BOSKOE100 and Gonzoe, which was put on in support of the Gloves Up Guns Down charity, had Snoop Dogg on commentary — and that was the primary element working in its favor. It was clear by the middle of the second round that both fighters were exhausted.
It got interesting in the third round when BOSKOE100 opened with some hooks. But like the previous two rounds, both fighters seemed wiped out by the one-minute mark in the third round.
The fighters were given a draw, with Snoop Dogg calling the Gloves Up Guns Down charity the bigger winner.
Younan dominates Minda in decision win
Junior Younan hadn’t fought in more than two years. The layoff didn’t matter, though, as the undefeated Brooklyn-based fighter maintained his undefeated record.
Younan won a unanimous decision over Ecuador’s Jeyson Minda, 78-71 on all three cards after eight rounds. There were no knockdowns, and while there was some chatter after the fight between the two boxers in the final seconds, it was squashed after both fighters went back to their corners.
Other than a couple of flurries from Minda (14-5-0, 8 KO) in Round 5, Younan (16-0-1, 10 KO) appeared to control the fight. Twice, though, Younan landed low blows, forcing referee Brian Stutts to take away a point from Younan in the round.
The loss was Minda’s fifth in his past six fights. His previous four losses were all by stoppage. Minda had a strong sixth round and started becoming more aggressive as the fight progressed. In the seventh round, Minda was deducted a point for holding, and he lost another point in the eighth round for a low blow.
It was Younan’s first time in the ring since a unanimous decision victory over Derrick Findley on March 9, 2019.
Still to come:
Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren, 8 rounds, cruiserweights
Regis Prograis vs. Ivan Redkach, 10 rounds, junior welterweights