BEN ASKREN had fans hailing him for ‘looking better’ in training ahead of his fight with Jake Paul.
The retired UFC welterweight faces YouTuber Paul on April 17 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Askren, 36, is a renowned elite career grappler but was admittedly never gifted in the striking department.
As a result, Paul, 24, who has two knockouts in as many fights, is the favourite with bookies and several outsiders.
But Askren’s latest video on the pads appears to have given fans more confidence, as they commented on his improved speed.
One said: “Already looking better!”
Another said: “I gotta be honest, Ben looks much faster and has a smoother flow. Let’s hope he gets the job done.”
One added: “Looking better.”
Another added: “Improvements.”
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Paul beat online rival ‘AnEsonGib’ in his debut in January 2020, and then left ex-NBA star Nate Robinson, 36, out cold in November.
But his career has not convinced UFC president Dana White, who bet $1million that he will lose against Askren.
White said on Mike Tyson’s podcast: “I hope you can bet on this thing because I will bet $1m (£720,000) that he loses this f***ing fight.
“I bet a million dollars that he loses this fight!”
But Tyson’s podcast host, former world champion Zab Judah, warned White about Paul’s ability, having seen the social media sensation in the gym.
Judah said: “Dana I watched him, he’s been working hard, Dana. I have seen him put it together.
“He’s got hands. I am not joking.”