Jake Paul paying sparring partners $300 to prepare him for Ben Askren

Former UFC star Markus Perez says he was paid $300 (£218) to help Jake Paul prepare for his fast-approaching encounter with Ben Askren.

Paul faces former mixed martial arts champion Askren in his third professional boxing fight on Saturday, after victories over Brit AnEsonGib and American Nate Robinson last year.

The YouTube star previously claimed he is one of the top five highest-paid fighters in the world and predicted he would knock out Askren within two rounds.

But the 24-year-old's hopes of making it three wins from three fights have been rubbished by Perez, who gave a withering verdict on Paul's boxing ability.

"To tell you the truth I had no idea who he [Paul] was, but when someone related to him offered me $300 (to spar with him), I decided to accept,” said Perez.

"When I arrived at his house with my friend [UFC flyweight] Alexandre Pantoja, I politely went to greet everyone.

"But when I went to shake hands, he gave me a closed fist. Then I looked at Pantoja and asked, ‘That was the guy I came to help?’

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"He started the sparring going hard, and I hit him with a jab in the end of the first round and his nose started to bleed. From that point on we started to fight.

"I called for him to beat me up and he was afraid, just circling and staying out of my range.

"Of course, he is able to box and has a good cross, but he is clearly not a fighter – just an adventurous (type).

"Askren is a real fighter. He will close the distance and beat him up around the body and liver, just like I did."

Giving Askren his vote of confidence as he made a prediction for the bout, Perez added: "A fight is always a fight, anything can happen, but I believe he will knock Paul out around the second or third round."

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