Hasim Rahman Jr. believes Jake Paul jumped the gun in cancelling their cruiserweight bout.
Paul and Rahman were scheduled to face each other this coming Saturday, Aug.6, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. But BoxingScene.com broke news yesterday that Rahman’s apparent inability to meet the New York State Athletic Commissions’ newly stipulated contract weight of 205 pounds triggered the bout’s cancellation.
This is the second straight time Paul has had a fight essentially cancelled; Paul was originally supposed to face Tommy Fury, but Fury was unable to travel to the US because of reported visa issues. Rahman was then handpicked to replace Fury.
In a statement, Most Valuable Promotions, Paul’s promotional company, stated that Rahman reneged on the new contract weight and subsequently told Team Paul that “they are pulling out of the fight unless the fight was agreed to at 215 pounds.” Paul then said he had no other option but to scrap the entire card.
“MVP and Jake Paul will not reward someone that has conducted themselves in such a deceiving and calculated manner,” the statement read. “Therefore, MVP is left with no choice but to cancel the August 6th event.”
Rahman took to social media to dispute Paul’s reasoning, saying that he would have taken a pay cut to fight. Rahman also said that by cancelling the fight a week out deprived him of the chance to try and lose as much weight as possible.
“I signed a contract to make 200 pounds within a three, three-and-half weeks that I had to do it,” Rahman said in a video post on Instagram a few hours after the cancellation was announced. “But I couldn’t do it. I said my body simply would not let me do it. It would not let me get down to 200 pounds.
“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, ‘If penalties involved, keep the purse. Keep the purse. I’d fight you for the $5,000 minimum.’ That’s how much it means to me, and that’s how much faith I have in knocking him out.”
Rahman finds it ironic that Paul has been claiming that he beat him in sparring, when Rahman would have been at a weight closer to 230 pounds. If that was the case, Rahman said, why get “scared” at fighting 210 or 215 pounds?
“I would’ve beat this man with one hand, just like I did in the gym,” Rahman continued. “But let him tell it, he already beat my ass in the gym when I was 230. So if you beat me up when I was 230, what’s the problem of fighting me when I’m at 215, what’s the problem of fighting me when I’m 210?
“It’s clearly been them not wanting to fight. It’s not me pulling out the fight. It’s them not wanting the fight. I never said that I didn’t want this fight. The only thing that I can conclude is they’re scared. They tried to drain me down. I told them I ain’t gonna be able to get all the way down to cruiserweight. It was an astronomical fee in and of itself from the beginning when they called me to spar for Anderson Silva. I told them what my weight was. I would have had to lose a pound a day for 30 days in order to make 200 pounds.”
Rahman said he was left with no other conclusion than that Paul simply did not want to face a real boxer.
“Jake Paul could’ve fought a real boxer, but he don’t want to fight a real fighter,” Rahman said. “He don’t want to fight a real fight. He wanted to drain me down and fight a shell of me, which I’m not going to allow him to do. Now, they didn’t move the goalposts and move the finish line closer and have me weigh in all these extra days early and then pull the plug on the fight like, ‘We don’t want to fight.’
“My team 100 percent still wanted to fight, still ready, willing, and able to knock out Jake Paul on Aug. 6. So y’all blame your boy Jake Paul for this fight not happening. It ain’t have nothin’ to do with me or my team. We let them know what the real reason was, and Jake Paul is scared to fight.”