Tony Ferguson has revealed what he saw while training with Ben Askren ahead of Askren’s fight against Jake Paul.
Former UFC star and retired MMA fighter Ben Askren made his professional boxing debut against YouTube megastar and internet personality Jake Paul. While Askren hadn’t competed in professional boxing, Paul had two pro boxing bouts under his belt and had won both via KO/TKO.
The professional boxing match between Ben Askren and Jake Paul was one of the most discussed and highest-grossing combat sports events of 2021. Their fight headlined the Triller Fight Club event on April 17th, 2021. The fight was contested in the cruiserweight division and witnessed Paul defeat Askren via first-round TKO.
During an interview with The Schmo, Tony Ferguson chimed in with his two cents on what Ben Askren needs to do to improve his boxing skills. The Schmo pointed out that Tony Ferguson has been training with Freddie Roach as of late and that Askren had briefly trained with Roach for the Paul fight.
The Schmo asked Ferguson for his views on how Askren looked while hitting the mitts at the gym. Ferguson responded by stating –
“I’m gonna be real. It was cool. I told him he’s coachable, and that he’s gonna have a good shot. But he’s gonna have to hit the bag. Boxing’s no joke, man. You can go out there, and you can learn the sport. But it’s a sport. It’s an Olympic sport. People forget that. MMA is so young, it hasn’t made it to that spot yet. But when I started surrounding myself with boxers, that’s what you get. You get into that mentality, and it’s a structured mentality.”
“Ben, he went over there. I could kind of see that he was really hard, and he was doing his thing. But he was surrounding himself with the wrong people and the vibe and all; too much of the hype. You know, hats off to him to be going out there and to be able to do it – Because nobody else did it. I’m gonna be real. He put in the work. And hopefully, he got paid for that sh**, man. Next time, you know, keep your hands up and your chin down.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)
In a nutshell, Tony Ferguson expressed his respect for Ben Askren’s efforts. Ferguson indicated, however, that Askren ought to put in more work on the boxing bag if he intends to improve his pugilistic skills.
Tony Ferguson is on the cusp of reinserting himself into the UFC lightweight title picture
Tony Ferguson is scheduled to fight Beneil Dariush in the co-main event of the UFC 262 fight card. Tony Ferguson is currently on a two-fight losing streak, before which he’d strung together his legendary twelve-fight win streak.
Be that as it may, the fact remains that Tony Ferguson is a former interim UFC lightweight champion and could very well reinsert himself into the UFC lightweight title picture with a win at UFC 262. The consensus is that should Tony Ferguson manage to defeat Beneil Dariush at UFC 262, he’d likely be only one more win away from a shot at UFC lightweight gold.
Meanwhile, in the aftermath of his loss to Jake Paul, Ben Askren suggested that he doesn’t intend to compete in a professional combat sports bout again – be it boxing or MMA. Askren asserted that he’d like to focus on his career as a wrestling coach instead.
UFC 262 is set to take place at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, on May 15th, 2021. The event’s headliner is a UFC lightweight title matchup between Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler, whereas the co-headliner is a lightweight bout between Tony Ferguson and Beneil Dariush.