Jake Paul’s wait for boxing legitimacy grows longer.
The anticipated fight of Paul, the YouTube star-turned-boxer, against Hasim Rahman Jr., which was set to headline on Showtime PPV at the Garden on Aug. 6, was canceled over weight issues for Rahman.
The card, which was set to feature female star Amanda Serrano as the co-main event, has been called off entirely. Paul’s promotional company, Most Valuable Promotions, announced the news Saturday night.
“MVP and Jake Paul will not reward someone that has conducted themselves in such a deceiving and calculated manner,” Most Valuable Promotions said in a statement. “Therefore, MVP is left with no choice but to cancel the … event. 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.”
Since the bout was announced to take place at the 200-pound cruiserweight limit, the weight of both fighters, but specifically Rahman, had elicited vitriol between both camps. After he took the fight on short notice, Rahman (12-1) was subject to weekly tests to ensure he could slim down and make weight in time. On top of that, he was subject to a rehydration clause, limiting how much weight he could gain after the official weigh in and before he entered the ring, a common practice among fighters.
Those protocols were necessary, Paul claimed during the introductory press conference, because he was taking on a much bigger fighter, the son of former heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman.
“On Friday, Rahman submitted a weight check to the New York State Athletic Commision that demonstrated that he had lost less than one pound since originally signing to take the fight 24 days prior,” the Most Valuable Promotions statement continued. “This prompted the Commission to declare that it would not sanction the fight at less than 205 pounds. Still, Jake Paul was prepared to move forward with the fight at this new weight and a new contract was sent to Rahman’s promoter reflecting a 205 pound limit, imposing strict penalties should he fail to make weight.
“Upon receiving this new contract Saturday morning, Rahman’s camp indicated for the very first time that he planned to weigh 215 pounds at the official weigh-in and would not agree to weigh-in at 205 pounds and informing Most Valuable Promotions that they are pulling out of the fight unless the fight was agreed to at 215 pounds.”
The bout would have represented Paul’s first against a professional boxer since he started his career. With a 5-0 record, he has beaten UFC stars, ex-NBA players and other internet influencers, but Rahman, Paul hoped, would have cemented his legitimate place in the sport.
It’s also the second time the scheduled bout was forced to change plans. Paul originally had been scheduled to fight Tommy Fury, but had to pivot after Fury, a United Kingdom citizen, was denied entry to the United States. That led to Rahman, with whom Paul had previously sparred, taking the fight on short notice.
“He’s called me a b—h in our sparring sessions,” Paul told The Post ahead of the planned fight. “He’s said he’s gonna beat my ass, he’s calling me a YouTuber, he says I’m not gonna make it far in professional boxing. There’s beef there. This is personal. I’ve always wanted this fight since we had that sparring session, since he disrespected me.”
Instead, Paul’s wait continues.