In the end, Hasim Rahman Jr. met all the criteria to be involved in Jake Paul’s latest foray in the ring.

Rahman Jr., a six-year professional and the son of the former heavyweight champion, will take on YouTube star-turned boxer Paul in an eight-round cruiserweight bout set for Aug. 6 at Madison Square Garden on Showtime Pay-Per-View. The bout will be supported by Pauls’ friend and business partner, Amanda Serrano, in a 10-round women’s featherweight title bout against Brenda Karen Carabajal.

Rahman was installed as an opponent  for Paul (5-0, 4 KOs) after the original adversary, Tommy Fury of England, was denied entry into the United States, thereby jeopardizing the card. Fury is the half-brother of Tyson Fury and has appeared on reality television in his homeland.   

According to Showtime Sports head Stephen Espinoza, given the commercial demands of the pay-per-view platform, not just any substitution would do, which led to a few rejections. Eventually, Rahman, 31, was given the nod.

“He’s a big, strong guy who’s been boxing a lot longer than Jake,” Espinoza said of Rahman on the Boxing With Chris Mannix podcast. “It’s a little bit of a strange endeavor because obviously we need somebody with a bit of marketability and a name opposite because it is supporting a pay-per-view.

“Therefore, there were a lot of guys we considered and evaluated and dismissed. Not because they weren’t good fighters or quality matchups, but they didn’t have the marketability to hang your hat on a pay-per-view.”

Many, including Espinoza, believe Rahman (12-1, 6 KOs) to be a far tougher out for Paul than Fury, given that Rahman has boxed his entire life and could reasonably be called a “real boxer.” Paul has taken the boxing world by storm over the past two years, but his wins have all come against non-boxers.

“I think if we end up with Hasim Rahman Jr., I think Rockman definitively is a more difficult opponent than Tommy Fury,” Espinoza said. “That’s not a slight on Tommy Fury by any means. I just think when you look at his (Rahman) pedigree, the number of fights, the fact that he is much bigger than Jake or Tommy. He’s been fighting at heavyweight for most of his career. He’s coming down a little bit to around in the range of 200 [pounds] to fight Jake.

“So, you put that all together, I think this is a riskier fight just because Rahman has just a little bit more experience. He’s got some amateur pedigree, the bloodline, for what that’s worth.” 

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