Undefeated cruiserweight Jake Paul was scheduled to fight Hasim Rahman Jr. this Sat. night (Aug. 6) at Madison Square Garden in New York City, part of a Showtime pay-per-view (PPV) boxing card that also featured Amanda Serrano vs. Brenda Carabajal at featherweight.
The entire event has since been canceled.
Paul claims Rahman Jr. failed to meet the contract stipulations regarding his weight, forcing promoter Most Valuable Promotions (MVP) to amend their existing deal. Then came another round of weekly weight checks and a fight-ending lack of progress from “Gold Blooded.”
In subsequent Twitter posts, Rahman Jr. admits he was unable to make his mark but also believes the unrealistic parameters set forth by Paul and Co. were designed to weaken the longtime heavyweight and give “The Problem Child” a marked advantage on fight night.
“I signed the contract to fight at 200 pounds within the three, thee-and-a-half weeks I had to do it, but I couldn’t do it, my body simply would not let me do it, would not let me get down to 200 pounds,” Rahman Jr. said on social media. “But where in boxing do you see them canceling fights a whole week in advance? I didn’t even get my last week to get down as low as I could. I told this man, there’s penalties involved? Keep the purse. I’ll fight you for the $5,000 minimum. That’s how much it means to me and how much faith I have in knocking him out.”
Rahman Jr. believes he could have gotten as low as 210 or 215 pounds and was willing to forfeit the majority of his purse to keep the fight alive, or provide an alternate cruiserweight if New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) shut him down at the weigh ins.
“If you let him tell it, he already beat my ass in the gym when I was 230 (pounds),” Rahman Jr. insisted. “So if you beat me up while I was 230, what’s the problem fighting me at 215? What’s the problem fighting me at 210? It’s clearly them not wanting to fight. It’s not me pulling out of the fight, it’s them not wanting to fight. I never said that I didn’t want this fight. The only thing that I can conclude is that they’re scared. They tried to drain me down, I told them, ‘Look, I ain’t gonna be able to get all the way down to cruiserweight.’ It was an astronomical feat in and of itself from the beginning. They knew that if I wasn’t able to make the weight that I had a replacement on the side the whole time. He’s been doing everything I’ve been doing this whole camp, the Muslim boxer, Muhsin Cason, who campaigns at cruiserweight, who wouldn’t have had to drain himself, who could have saved the show. Jake Paul could have fought a real boxer, but he don’t want to fight a real boxer, he wanted to drain me down and fight a shell of me. I’m not going to let him do that.”
The 28 year-old Cason is 10-0 as a cruiserweight with seven knockouts.
UFC President Dana White believes Paul and MVP bailed on the event after failing to sell enough tickets to break even. Paul later released video of Rahman Jr. weighing in 216.5 pounds on July 7, the same weight registered during his second weigh-in on July 10.
Have a look:
“MVP was sent two weight checks by Hasim Rahman’s management team,” a representative from MVP wrote. “July 7 and July 10. Both were 216. We requested these videos to ensure Mr. Rahman did not have to lose more than 10% of his body weight over a four week period.”
Rahman Jr. insists he did everything he could to make this fight happen.
“Ya’ll blame your boy Jake Paul for this fight not happening, it ain’t have nothing to do with me or my team, Jake Paul was scared to make the fight,” Rahman Jr. said. “All he gotta say is, ‘Okay, I beat you up at 230, I’ll beat you up at 215!’ I’m still coming down in weight. Or, ‘I’ll beat you up at 210.’ He don’t wanna do it because he don’t want a real competitive fight. He wanted me to be a shell of myself when we got in there and got in that ring.”
Where both fighters go from here remains to be seen.
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