By: Sean Crose
A doctor has given Jake Paul the go-ahead to face Ben Askren tomorrow evening in an 8 round pay per view main event in the cruiserweight division. Paul raised some eyebrows on Thursday when he claimed during a press conference for his Saturday fight with Ben Askren that he is showing signs of brain damage. ” You know, it’s a dangerous sport,” Paul said of boxing.” And that’s why, when people question my dedication to it, it’s like, I’m showing up every single day. I’m putting my mental health on the line, my brain is on the line.” Paul then dropped a bomb when he said: “I’ve gone and gotten brain scans and have early signs of CTE.”
Needless to say, the 24 year old has subsequently backed away from those comments. “I wanna retract my comments made about CTE as it relates to me and my medical history,” the 2-0 cruiserweight posted on Twitter Friday. “It’s a very serious condition that I should not have misspoken about.” Paul, who got his start as a social media influencer is a showman by nature. Speaking off the cuff can have a different impact when one is involved in a high profile sporting event. Still, the man’s retraction is out there for the world to see. It’s not like the guy is doubling down.
Paul has been reportedly eager to let the world know how seriously he takes boxing. And, to be sure, the man does appear to be approaching the sport like a legitimate professional. Although he’s never met a boxer of note in the ring, Paul has shown power and sound defense in his fistic experiences. He’s also taking on a former mixed martial arts notable in Askren, which indicates Paul is at least willing to risk getting in the ring with a combat sport professional with a proven track record.
Askren looks to be taking Saturday’s match very seriously, as well. It may be his boxing debut, but Askren has been on the big stage before. He’s also been hurt while engaging in a combat sport and is open to his weak spots when it comes to the sweet science. “He’s an Olympic Wrestler & MMA Champion,” Teddy Atlas tweeted of Askren on Thursday, “but the first to say striking is not his strength. His strength is that he’s been to battle, visited that cauldron of fire & fear, and wielded his sword. Conquer or be Conquered.”