YouTube star-turned-boxer Jake Paul has been cleared to fight Ben Askren in a highly-anticipated showdown Saturday, despite saying he has ‘early signs of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy)’.
Paul, 24, made the claim in a press conference Thursday, despite the fact he is only relatively new to boxing and has only competed in two professional fights.
‘I’m putting my mental health on the line. My brain is on the line… I’ve gone and got brain scans and have early signs of CTE,’ Paul declared at the press conference.
The star’s announcement caused a stir on social media, before he later revoked the claim in a Twitter post Friday.
‘I wanna retract my comments made about CTE as it relates to me and my medical history. It’s a very serious condition that I should not have misspoken about,’ Paul wrote.
CTE – the term used to describe brain degeneration that is likely caused by repeated head traumas – is only able to diagnosed during an autopsy, after a person has died.
On Friday, at the same time as Paul revoked his CTE claim, it was announced that a doctor at the Georgia Athletic Commission had cleared Paul to fight Saturday.
The showdown between Paul and Askren is set to take place at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
YouTube star-turned-boxer Jake Paul has been cleared to fight Ben Askren in a highly-anticipated showdown Saturday, despite saying he has ‘early signs of CTE’. The pair are pictured during a promotional news conference late last month
Matt Woodruff, who serves as the executive director of the Georgia Athletic Commission, told Yahoo: Our doctor signed off on his physical this morning, so we did clear him.’
When asked whether the doctor had seen an MRI scan, Woodruff stated: ‘I don’t know the date, but we received medicals from California. They were reviewed and based upon that review, our doctor cleared him to fight.”
The Georgia Athletic Commission has clear rules that state they will ‘not issue a professional boxer’s license to any person when they have reason to believe that such person has previously been diagnosed with or has suffered sub-dural hematoma or any level of intra-cerebral hemorrhage.’
Paul started his boxing journey in front of 18,000 fans in a jam-packed Manchester Arena back in 2018, where he stopped fellow YouTuber Deji in the fifth round,.
Paul then increased his stock as he stepped into the professional game for the first time, defeating AnEsonGib in a round, before his brutal knockout win over Nate Robinson last November.
Paul has spoken of his aspirations to become the world’s biggest prize fighter, calling out the likes of Conor McGregor and Dillon Danis.
Paul, 24, made the CTE claim in a press conference Thursday, despite the fact he is only relatively new to boxing and has only competed in two professional fights
Paul subsequently posted this statement to Twitter, revoking his earlier claim
Paul delivered a shocking knockout win against Nate Robinson in November last year
Paul knocked AnEsonGib down three times in a one-round stoppage victory in January 2020
However, his critics have repeatedly insisted Paul is yet to face a genuine fighter, though that will change on Saturday when he faces off against Askren.
Askren a legitimate fighter, having won 19 of 21 UFC bouts.
But, at 36-years-old, Askren comes into the fight on the back of a major hip operation.
He retired back in 2019 after falling to back-to-back defeats, one of which being his memorable loss to Jorge Masvidal, whose five-second knockout remains the fastest-ever in UFC history.
As such, Paul comes into the bout as the favourite to prevail among the bookies, in spite of his relative inexperience.
The young American is favored at 4/7 to come out victorious, while Askren is the 11/8 underdog. Meanwhile, a highly unlikely draw is down at 18/1.
Paul and Askren are pictured at a promotional press conference last month
Nickname: Problem Child
Height: 6ft 1in
Record: 2W, 0L, 0D
Height: 5ft 10in
Record: 19W, 2L, 0D (UFC)