Jake Paul’s upcoming fight scheduled on Aug. 6 in New York has been scrapped after his opponent Hasim Rahman Jr. was unable to make the agreed upon weight for the Showtime pay-per-view main event, Paul’s promotion announced and Showtime officials confirmed to MMA Fighting.
Most Valuable Promotions, which Paul co-owns with business partner Nakisa Bidarian, made the announcement on Saturday after a report from Boxingscene.com initially said the bout would be contracted as a 205-pound fight and later reported its cancellation.
MVP issued a statement on the cancellation: “On July 5, Hasim Rahman Jr. signed a bout agreement to fight Jake Paul on Aug. 6 at Madison Square Garden at a maximum weight of 200 pounds. At the time of signing, Rahman provided evidence of his weight to give comfort to Most Valuable Promotions and the New York State Athletic Commission that he would not be losing more than 10 percent of his weight over the four weeks leading up to the fight.
“Since weighing in at 216 pounds on July 7, Rahman and his camp have offered assurance after assurance publicly and privately that he was on track to make weight at the weigh-in on Aug. 5, going as far as to provide a letter signed by a recognized nutritionist that his weight cut was progressing without issue per New York State Athletic Commission’s required weekly weight checks. In the last 48 hours, it has become clear that these assurances were not made in good faith.”
Initial requests for comment to Rahman Jr.’s reps were not returned.
According to Paul’s team, the 31-year-old fighter had barely lost any weight, and the team said the son of former heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman later demanded the fight take place at a completely different weight – or he would no longer compete. That ultimately forced Paul to cancel the bout and scrap the card, which also featured Amanda Serrano in the co-main event.
“On Friday, Rahman submitted a weight check to the New York State Athletic Commission that demonstrated he had lost less than one pound since originally signing to take the fight 24 days prior. 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.
“MVP and Jake Paul will not reward someone that has conducted themselves in such a deceiving and calculated manner. Therefore, MVP is left with no choice but to cancel the Aug. 6 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. There has been endless work, time and money put into building this event and we want to thank our team, Showtime, Madison Square Garden, Holden Boxing and all of our partners for their continued support. Above everything, we want to thank our fans for their commitment to the athletes and the sport of boxing.”
Paul’s team added that refunds will be issued for all tickets and pay-per-views already sold for the now-cancelled card.
It’s an unfortunate turn of events for Paul, who was originally scheduled to face Tommy Fury on Aug. 6 until the former reality star was denied entry into the U.S. Multiple reports attributed the denial to the Fury family’s association with alleged criminal figure Daniel Kinahan.
Fury was pulled from the card and replaced by Rahman, who accepted the contest after suffering a knockout loss to Kenzie Morrison in his previous outing in April.
Now, the entire card has been scrapped, and there’s no word when Paul might compete again.
Following the announcement, Paul blasted Rahman for his behavior while also issuing an apology to all of the other fighters affected by the cancellation.
“First Tommy Fumbled and now Hasim Rahman crumbled,” Paul wrote on Twitter. “These boxers are the most difficult people to work with and continually lack professionalism and confidence to fight me.I apologize to all of the of the other fighters on the card, our partners, our team and the fans.”
Paul later posted a video in which he elaborated on his frustration with Rahman’s team, saying that it is “clear as day” that Rahman did not want to fight him.
“Here’s what happened, long story short: He signed a contract to fight me at 200 pounds and was going to cut the weight down to 200 pounds. This is not a big cut for him. He’s a big guy with a ton of weight to lose. So he sent a video in to the commission the first time he weighed in at 216 pounds. The commission wanted to track his weight cut to make sure he was doing it in a healthy way. Three weeks later the commission asked him for an update on his weight. He sends a video weighing 215 pounds, meaning in three weeks he only lost one pound. So the commission was like, ‘Hey man, you’re not cutting the weight properly. We don’t want you to lose it all in the last day. We’re going to have to change this fight to 205 pounds.’
“My team calls me up, they’re like, ‘Hey man, they want to change the weight to 205 pounds, that’s a big difference, you normally fight at 190 pounds. Do you want to do the fight still? I said, ‘No problem, let’s do it.’ Two hundred and five pounds, he already has a weight advantage, all of these things, but whatever. I know I can still beat his ass at 205 pounds. And that was that. We move forward. Today, out of nowhere, his team calls and says, ‘Hasim’s not going lower than 215 pounds. If the fight’s not at 215 pounds, then we’re pulling out.’ My manager goes, ‘F*** you guys. You’re not in control of this. We already agreed to five more pounds. He is a big guy. Losing 10 pounds, everyone knows in the sport of boxing that is an easy weight cut. People do that. UFC champions cut 25 pounds overnight to make weight. A 10-pound weight cut for a heavyweight is nothing. This is clearly an excuse. ‘OK, the fight’s not at 215, we’re out.’
“The biggest payday of his life times 10 and he’s fumbling it. For what? Because he knows he’s going to get knocked out by me. The pressure starts to set in and it’s exactly what happens with all of these guys. Same s*** with Tommy Fury. I’m sick of it. I’m devastated. I apologize to everyone on the undercard. Amanda Serrano, I know you were working hard. Ashton Sylve, I know you were working hard. This is absurd. There’s nothing I can do about it. I apologize to the fans and I’ll be back at some point.”