By: Sean Crose
Former heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman clearly is not a man to pull his punches, either literally or physically. “My son has really underperformed, and underprepared for pretty much all of his fights,” he said on Tuesday, “but he will be ready for this one.” These words, uttered at a press conference to promote his son’s – Hasim Rahman Jr’s – August 6th fight with social media star turned rising boxer Jake Paul, was surprising to say the least.
Paul, who like Rahman Jr himself was present, couldn’t help but jump at the opportunity Rahman Sr. presented. “What the fuck?” he laughed. “It’s bring your kid to work day.” The younger Rahman, however, was ready with a quick retort. “Bring your boots and your gloves on August 6th,” he said, “because I may knock you out of both of them.” The press conference was, to say the least, interesting.
While it’s true Paul’s sport of choice is boxing, it’s obvious the man is looking to replace UFC star Conor McGregor as combat sport’s biggest heel. Paul even posted a video before Tuesday’s press conference, where he addressed McGregor – who he’s presumably feuding with – directly. “This is my game,” he said to McGregor. “There’s a new king in town. I’m running shit now.”
Perhaps it’s best, however, that Paul stay focused on Rahman Jr, who will be the only man he’s ever faced in the ring who isn’t making his professional debut (save of course for former UFC star Tyrone Woodley, who Paul beat in both Woodley’s first and second ring appearances). “I’m here to end this façade,” Rahman Jr said of Paul, “that he’s calling a career.”
To be sure, the 12-1 Rahman was able to at least hold his own against the mind games of Paul, something that Paul may not have expected. “He’s definitely barking up the wrong tree,” he said. Then, to Paul: “I’m going to fuck you up.”
The truth is that Paul was supposed to fight Tommy Fury, brother of heavyweight kingpin Tyson Fury, on August 6th. Fury wasn’t allowed into America for unstated reasons, however, and so Paul turned to Rahman, the son of another heavyweight kingpin. “He thinks he’s you,” Paul said to the senior Rahman. “And that’s his biggest mistake….I’m ending that whole ass legacy.”
The Paul-Rahman fight will go down at New York’s Madison Square Garden and will be aired live on Showtime Pay Per View.