The anticipated Aug. 6 clash between Jake Paul and Hasim Rahman Jr. at Madison Square Garden will no longer be taking place due to issues regarding Rahman’s weight.
Showtime Sports and Most Valuable Promotions announced the decision Saturday night in a statement chronicling the fighter’s inability to meet the bout’s contracted weight limit. Paul was set to face Rahman Jr., the son of ex-heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman, after he stepped in for British fighter Tommy Fury, who was denied entry into the United States in late June.
Shortly after the announcement, Paul shared a video on Twitter explaining the situation, and offering his thoughts on losing a second opponent in a little over a month. The Youtuber-turned-boxer even went as far as declaring that both Rahman and Fury were scared to face him at MSG.
“This is not a joke. I am devastated, I can not f—— believe this,” Paul said. “This is just another case of a professional boxer, just like Tommy Fury, being scared to fight me. It’s as clear as day that these guys have been so unprofessional to work with, looking for any excuse to suck more money out of this event, to coerce us into doing things and, from the jump, I knew in the bottom of my heart that this guy didn’t want to get in the ring with me.”
According to MVP’s statement, the fighters signed their contract on July 5 at a max weight of 200 pounds. Rahman, who agreed to submit weight checks after weighing in at 216 lbs. on July 7, submitted a report on Friday showing he had lost just one pound in the 24 days since. The promotion claimed the weight checks were agreed to in order to assure Rahman “would not be losing more than 10% of his weight over the 4 weeks leading up to the fight,” assurances MVP said were “not made in good faith.”
As a result of Friday’s update, the New York State Athletic Commission declared it would not sanction the fight at less than 205 lbs., which MVP said Paul agreed to move forward with. The promotion said it submitted a new contract to Rahman’s promoter “reflecting a 205 lbs. limit, imposing strict penalties should he fail to make weight.” However, upon receiving the contract on Saturday morning, the camp notified MVP “for the very first time” that the 31-year-old planned to enter the bout at 215 lbs., thus leading to the cancellation after Rahman threatened to pull out of the bout unless the new weight was agreed to.
Scroll to Continue
“MVP and Jake Paul will not reward someone that has conducted themselves in such a deceiving and calculated manner. Therefore, MVP is left with no choice but to cancel the August 6th event,” the statement read. “This forced outcome impacts Jake Paul, Amanda Serrano and every other fighter on this card who have trained tirelessly over the past few months for this event. The boxing community must hold Hasim Rahman Jr. liable for his lack of professionalism.”
Paul also extended an apology to the fans, Serrano and the other fighters on the card.
“I apologize to everyone who was working hard,” he said. “Amanda Serrano, I know you were working hard, Ashton Sylve, I know you were working hard. This is absurd, there’s nothing I can do about it. I apologize to the fans and I’ll be back at some point.”
Paul has a 5–0 record as a professional boxer, including four knockouts. He hasn’t fought since December when he knocked out former UFC champion Tyron Woodley.
Rahman Jr. currently has a 12–1 professional record with his first defeat coming in April in a knockout loss to James McKenzie Morrison.
More Boxing Coverage: