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For starters, the former Bellator and ONE Championship titleholder said he stayed off social media Sunday to avoid the plethora of negative noise in response to his first-round TKO loss to the YouTube star in the headliner of the Triller Fight Club event. Askren’s attitude, however, isn’t necessarily an indication that he doesn’t care.
The 36-year-old Askren, who came out of retirement and off hip replacement surgery to fight Paul, is definitely upset at himself. And he wants people to know that he didn’t take his boxing debut lightly.
“I’m disappointed. … I saw people don’t think I took it seriously, and here’s the thing: When I took the fight, I said No. 1 for the money, No. 2 I think this could be a good time,” Askren said Monday on the “Louder with Crowder” podcast. “I used to box with my friends in high school just for fun. And I trained hard for 11 weeks. I didn’t miss a practice, and it just didn’t go my way”
The thing that really seems to bother Askren is the thought that the finish could’ve been avoided if he had listened to the advice from cornermen Tyron Woodley and Mike Rhodes as the fight unfolded.
“We knew he had a good overhand right, and I’m a dumbass, and I didn’t block it,” Askren said. “My defense was a little too loose. I heard my coaches, both Tyron and ‘Biggie,’ were saying stop reacting to his fakes, and I didn’t, and I paid the price.”
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Suffice to say, a devastating knockout just 1:59 into the fight was about as bad of an outcome as Askren could’ve suffered after pre-fight trash talk of how easy it would be to beat up a YouTuber with just two professional bouts against non-fighters.
Askren still stands by his decision to fight in the first place.
“I think one of the things that really separates me from a lot of people is, like, I could’ve very easily sat on my couch and said I don’t want to do that because there’s a potential I’ll be embarrassed,” Askren said. “That would be the only reason I wouldn’t have done it. There’s no other valid reason, and I said I’m gonna do it, so f*ck it, (I did it).”