Jake Paul dismissed Hasim Rahman Jr.’s claim that Paul pulled out of their pay-per-view fight, not Rahman.
Rahman claims Paul was afraid to fight him at a limit of 215 pounds, the increased weight Rahman demanded after the New York State Athletic Commission required them late last week to bump up their contract weight from 200 pounds to 205 to make Rahman’s weight cut safer.
Paul has ripped Rahman for refusing to meet his contractual obligation for an eight-round fight that was scheduled for this Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, even after the social media star agreed to meet Rahman in a heavyweight bout. The 25-year-old Paul (5-0, 4 KOs) – a Westlake, Ohio native who doesn’t have an amateur background – has not weighed in at more than 191¾ pounds for any of his five professional fights.
The unbeaten cruiserweight therefore cannot comprehend how Rahman has even attempted to blame the cancelation of their Showtime Pay-Per-View event on Paul, when it was Rahman’s refusal to do what was agreed upon several weeks earlier that led to the show being scrapped Saturday.
“His own promoter called reporters on Saturday telling them he can’t make the weight,” Paul stated in a Tweet on Tuesday, in which he referred to Greg Cohen, Rahman’s promoter. “You can spin it all you want, I was ready to go to 205 … 15 pounds more than where I’m comfortable. These guys are con artists. On to the next one.”
Rahman (12-1, 6 KOs) assured reporters and fans during a press conference July 12 at Madison Square Garden that getting down to the cruiserweight limit of 200 pounds for the first time as a professional wouldn’t be an issue. The 31-year-old Baltimore native competed at or near that weight as an amateur, but he hasn’t weighed in lower than 211¾ pounds as a pro.
He came in at 224 pounds for his most recent action just three months ago – a fifth-round, technical-knockout loss to James McKenzie Morrison (20-0-2, 18 KOs) on April 29 at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.
Rahman replaced Paul’s original opponent, Tommy Fury, on approximately four weeks’ notice, once it became clear Fury wouldn’t be allowed to travel from England to the United States to oppose Paul.
That marked the second time Fury (8-0, 4 KOs) withdrew from a Showtime Pay-Per-View main event versus Paul in seven months. Fury first was supposed to battle Paul last December 18 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, but Tyson Fury’s half-brother pulled out early in December, reportedly due to a chest infection and a rib injury.
Paul instead knocked out former UFC welterweight champ Tyron Woodley in the sixth round of their rematch December 18.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.