Before the upcoming Jake Paul versus Ben Askren boxing match scheduled for April 17 in Atlanta, a Cornell athlete has gone viral because of the drama and hype surrounding the event.
A video of Cornell wrestling’s junior Ben Darmstadt, pinning internet personality Jake Paul in a high school wrestling match made the rounds on social media last Wednesday.
Jake and his brother Logan Paul have garnered significant media attention since beginning their boxing careers after years of YouTube stardom. The Paul brothers are notorious for their trash talk and willingness to call out high-profile fighters like Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather.
The video depicts Jake putting up little resistance to Darmstadt on the mat, as he is quickly rolled onto his back via armbar and pinned in a matter of seconds. Askren, a longtime UFC fighter looking to make his boxing debut, posted the video not knowing that it was Darmstadt fighting Jake, even though the junior wrestler regularly attended Askren’s summer wrestling camps hosted at Darmstadt’s home wrestling club in Ohio.
“[Askren] posted a picture of Jake getting beat on his story and it turned out it was me my sophomore year, but you could barely see me in the picture,” Darmstadt said. “I was pretty surprised by all of the love I was getting from people that must really hate Jake Paul.”
Darmstadt, who was named first team All-American at 197 lbs in 2020, recalled the landslide victory: “I wrestled him like I would wrestle anyone else honestly, but it was a pretty one sided match. I was winning like 14-0 by the time I pinned him in the second period.”
Askren posted the video as part of the online banter between Jake and himself, “I thought it was tremendous and I posted it,” Askren said. “I feel like Jake just rolled over when the match wasn’t going the way he wanted.”
Darmstadt attended Elyria High School in Ohio, where he was a two-time state champion and led his team to two state titles. Paul attended Westlake High School just 30 minutes away from Elyria. The match between the two was in the 2014 sectional finals, after which Darmstadt would go on to take second place in the state that year. He would win the Ohio state championship in the following two years.
Jake and Askren come from very different backgrounds. Paul’s last fight with NBA veteran Nate Robinson drew over 1 million total buyers in pay per view alone.
Askren is a former mixed martial arts fighter who represented the U.S. in freestyle wrestling in the 2008 Olympics. Jake is an internet personality who only recently entered the world of boxing, competing in high ticket fights against Nate Robinson and fellow Youtuber Ali Loui Al-Fakhri, known as AnEsonGib on the video platform. Paul is 2-0 in his fights while Askren is 19-2 in his mixed martial arts career, though he has no recorded boxing matches.
When Darmstadt was asked who would come out victorious, he supported his former mentor without hesitation.
“The dude is an actual legitimate fighter that fought savages, and Jake’s best fight was against Nate Robinson who might have been the worst boxer I have ever witnessed in my 22 years on this planet,” Darmstadt said.
“Askren is winning the fight,” he concluded.