You’ve probably already heard that Jake Paul canceled his scheduled Aug. 6 fight with Hasim Rahman Jr — and with it, the entire Showtime pay-per-view event at Madison Square Garden — with the claim that Rahman had not held up his end of contractual weight agreements.
In short, Rahman wasn’t passing weight checks, the fight had been bumped from 200 lbs to 205 lbs as a limit, and then, according to the Paul camp, Rahman wanted the limit to be 215, at which point they pulled the plug.
Rahman says that he did not pull out of the fight, though to be clear that’s not really what the Paul camp are saying, but Rahman put out a couple videos on his Twitter account to address the issue.
“Look, I’m a bridgerweight. I campaign at bridgerweight, or otherwise known as heavyweight outside of the WBC,” he began.
To be clear here, the WBC’s “bridgerweight” limit is 224 lbs. They are the only sanctioning body who recognize this division.
“I signed the contract to make 200 lbs within the three or three-and-a-half weeks that I had to do it, but I couldn’t do it. My body simply would not let me do it, would not let me get down to 200 lbs.
“But where in boxing do you see them canceling fights a whole week in advance? I didn’t even get my last week to get down as low as I could. I told this man, ‘If there’s penalties involved, keep the purse. Keep the purse. I’ll fight you for the $5,000 minimum.’ That’s how much it means to me and that’s how much faith I have in knocking him out. I would have beat this man with one hand just like I did in the gym.
“But let him tell it, he already beat my ass in the gym when I was 230. So if you beat me up while I was 230, what’s the problem in fighting me when I’m 215? What’s the problem fighting me at 210? It’s clearly them not wanting to fight. It’s not me pulling out of the fight, it’s them not wanting the fight.
“I never said that I didn’t want this fight. The only thing I can conclude is they’re scared. They tried to drain me down. I told them, ‘Look, I ain’t gonna be able to get all the way down to cruiserweight.’ It was an astronomical feat in and of itself from the beginning when they called me to spar him for Anderson Silva. I told them where my weight was, they knew where my weight was — I was gonna have to lose about a lb a day for 30 days in order to make 200 lbs.
“With all that aside, still, if I wasn’t able to make the weight, they knew we had a replacement on the side the whole time. He’s been doing everything I’ve been doing this whole camp, Muhsin Cason, who campaigns at cruiserweight, who wouldn’t have had to drain himself, who could have saved the show. Jake Paul could have fought a real boxer, but he don’t wanna a real fighter. He don’t wanna fight a real fight.
“He wanted to drain me down and fight a shell of me, which I’m not gonna allow him to do. They moved the goalpost and the finish line closer and had me weigh in all these extra days early and then pulled the plug on the fight. My team 100 percent still wanted to fight — still ready, willing, and able to knock out Jake Paul.
“Blame your boy Jake Paul for this fight not happening. It has nothing to do with me or my team, we let them know what the real was, and Jake Paul’s scared to make the fight. All he’s got to do is say, ‘OK, I beat you up at 230, I’ll beat you up at 215.’ I’m still coming down in weight. Or, ‘I’ll beat you up at 210,’ but he don’t want to do it because he don’t want a real competitive fight. He wanted me to be a shell of myself when we got in that ring.”
None of this addresses why Rahman signed a contract to fight at 200 lbs in the first place, and frankly, this is as far as I can go in trying to care about this. It was a bizarre idea from the jump, one that now seems obviously destined to have never happened.
I don’t think either of these parties look good here, I don’t know why Rahman ever signed a contract to fight at 200, I don’t know why I’m supposed to hold it against Jake Paul that he did and couldn’t honor it, and I don’t care about the rest.
It’s not happening, it’s never going to happen, and I’m over it. This entire thing has been a clown show even compared to the average boxing ridiculousness.
Thank you, Jake Paul and Co., you have truly set new standards.