Jake Paul blasted out former UFC fighter Ben Askren in the opening round to secure his third professional victory on Saturday.
YouTube sensation, Paul (3-0, 3 KOs) detonated a huge right hand that dropped Askren (0-1) heavily and despite rising to his feet the referee waved off the contest at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
The pair’s clash had been preceded by a performance from Justin Bieber, whilst a number of other artists including Major Lazer, Diplo and Saweetie all featured on Triller’s latest Fight Club event.
Paul promised a swift knockout in the build-up, although former Bellator and ONE Welterweight champion, Askren, who was making his professional debut landed an overhand right in the early exchanges.
The 24-year-old, who is coached by former Cruiserweight world title challenger BJ Flores, stayed out of range of his rival’s punches from then closed the show in emphatic fashion, landing a jab, followed by a right hand which sent the 36-year-old crashing to the canvas with 1.59 gone in the opening round.
Paul went quickly over to Triller Fight Club co-founder Snoop Dogg who congratulated him on the victory.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 18, 2021
It remains unclear who Paul could face next, but earlier this week he spoke of his desire to face UFC star Conor McGregor, although he ruled out a showdown with fellow YouTuber KSI, who beat his brother Logan Paul in November 2019.
.@jakepaul has stopped Ben Askren in the FIRST ROUND!
— FITE (@FiteTV) April 18, 2021
Askren is the third name on Paul’s resume after victories over YouTuber AnEsonGib and former NBA star Nate Robinson.
Prograis secures technical decision victory over Redkach
Former Super Lightweight world champion Regis Prograis stayed on course for another world title shot with a highly-disputed technical decision victory over Ivan Redkach on the undercard.
Prograis dropped Redkach with a body shot in the sixth round, who was left wincing in agony for several minutes on the canvas before being stretchered off after receiving medical attention.
The referee ruled it a low blow, despite the shot clearly landing above the belt line and rather than handing ‘Rougarou’ a TKO victory, the bout instead went to the scorecards, awarding the 32-year-old a technical decision with two scores of 60-54 and another of 59-54.
After a cagey opener, Prograis began to unload punishing shots and a wicked left hand in the fourth round had the Ukrainian stumbling back.
The Houston resident continued to let his hands go, connecting with vicious combinations, as the 35-year-old soaked up the onslaught, before proceedings came to a bizarre halt in the sixth round.
Regis Prograis lands a BIG body shot to Ivan Redkach #TrillerFightClub
You make the call: legal or illegal blow?
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) April 18, 2021
Prograis has stated previously he intends to win another world title at 140lbs before moving up to Welterweight and will have a close eye on the undisputed title showdown between his former rival Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez on May 22, whilst also naming Adrien Broner as a potential opponent post-fight.
Cunningham defeats Mir
Former Cruiserweight world champion Steve Cunningham ended a near four-year ring hiatus to claim a unanimous decision win over former UFC Heavyweight champion, Frank Mir who made his debut.
Cunningham used his advantage in speed and experience to good effect throughout, as Mir charged forward without any great deal of success.
Mir, who weighed in 70 pounds heavier than Cunningham at Friday’s weigh-in let his hands go as he attempted to pin down the 44-year-old, who remained mobile throughout.
Two scores of 60-54 and another at 58-56 handed the 44-year-od a comfortable victory.
Light Heavyweight Joe Fournier extended his undefeated streak with a second round stoppage of reggaeton artist, Reykon.
Fournier, fighting for the first time in over four years dropped the Colombian debutant twice in the second and the 34-year-old did not come out for the third round
Light Heavyweight contender Junior Younan remained undefeated, securing a dominant, unanimous decision victory over Jeyson Minda, with three scores of 78-71, whilst unbeaten Welterweight Quinton Randall also claimed a unanimous decision win over William Jackson.