Editor’s note: This article was originally published on MMAJunkie.com.
Jake Paul says he knew this was going to happen from the jump.
According to Most Valuable Promotions, Hasim Rahman Jr. he lied to the promotion, the commission, and Paul about his weight. Since Rahman Jr. requested that the bout be changed from cruiserweight (200 pounds) to a bantamweight of 215 pounds, the promotion canceled the bout – and the entire August 6 event was scheduled for Madison Square Garden in New York.
While Paul initially posted a brief written comment, he dove deeper into a pair of videos posted on social media. The videos served as a two-part explanation of what happened and why the event was eventually taken down.
“This is just another case of a professional boxer like Tommy Fury being afraid to fight me,” Paul said. “It’s clear as day that these guys have been so unprofessional to work with, looking for any excuse to siphon more money out of this event, to force us to do things. From the jump, I knew in my gut that this guy didn’t want to get in there with me. It’s clear as day.”
Paul echoed much of what the original news release from his promotion, Most Valuable Promotions, said. He claimed that Rahman Jr never intended to make the weight, but when the pressure came on him, he used it as an excuse to back out.
“The biggest payday of his life is 10 and he’s blowing it,” Paul said. “For what? Because he knows he’s going to knock me out. The pressure is starting to set in. It’s just what happens with all these guys. Same with Tommy Fury. I’m sick of it.”
Paul closed with an apology to the rest of the fighters scheduled to compete on the card, particularly Amanda Serrano and Ashton Sylve.
You can read a transcript of Paul’s full explanation below:
“Nice guys. Emergency press conference. You may have seen the news. Hashim Rahman Junior retired from the match. This is not funny. I’m devastated. I can’t believe this. We just heard this news. This is just another case of a professional boxer like Tommy Fury being afraid to fight me. It’s clear as day that these guys were so unprofessional to work with, looking for any excuse to siphon more money out of this event, to force us to do things. From the jump, I knew in my gut that this guy didn’t want to get in there with me. It’s clear as day. Here’s what happened, in a nutshell. So he signed a contract to fight me at 200 pounds and he was going to cut down to 200 pounds. That’s not a big cut for him. He’s a big guy with a lot of weight to lose. He sent a video to the committee the first time he weighed in, at 216 pounds. The committee wanted to monitor his weight loss to make sure he was doing so in a healthy way. Three weeks later, the committee asked him for an update on his weight. He sends a video, weighing 215 kg – that is, in three weeks, he lost only one kg. So the committee was like, “Hey, man. You’re not losing weight properly. We don’t want you to lose everything on the last day. We should change this fight to 205 lbs. My team is calling me. They’re like, ‘Hey, man. They want to change the weight to 205 kg. That’s a big difference. We usually wrestle at 190 lbs. Do you still want to do the race?’ I said, “No problem. Let’s do it. 205 pounds. He already has a weight advantage, height advantage, reach advantage, all those things. But anyway. I’ll still beat his ass at 205 pounds.’ And that was it. We are moving forward. Then today, out of nowhere, his team calls and says, “Hashim is not going under 215 pounds. If the fight is not at 215 pounds, then we withdraw.’ My manager says, “F*ck you guys. You don’t control this.” We have already agreed on another five pounds. He’s a big guy. Losing 10 pounds, everyone in the sport of boxing knows it’s an easy weight cut. The UFC champs cut 25 pounds overnight to make weight. A 10kg weight cut for a heavyweight is nothing. This is clearly an excuse to say, “Okay, the match isn’t at 215? He was out.’ The biggest payday of his life is 10 and he’s rummaging through it. Why? Because he knows he will knock me out. The pressure is on. It’s just what happens with all these guys. Same with Tommy Fury. I’m tired of it. I’m devastated. Apologies to everyone on the undercard. Amanda Serrano, I know you’ve been working hard. Ashton Sylve, I know you’ve been working hard. This is absurd. I can’t do anything about it. I apologize to the fans. I’ll be back at some point.”
Jake Paul vs. Hashim Rahman Jr. canceled due to alleged weight cheating
This story originally appeared on Boxing Junkie