Just one week before the fight was supposed to take place, Jake Paul vs. Hasim Rahman Jr. has been cancelled. Jake Paul and his management team Most Valuable Promotions announced the news on Saturday via a statement published on Twitter.
The fight between Paul and Rahman Jr. was initially contracted to take place at 200 pounds, according to the statement, with Rahman issuing assurances that he would not be losing more than 10% of his weight over the four weeks leading up to the fight. But in the weeks since that initial assurance, Paul and his team claim Rahman Jr. hasn't lost any more weight, leading the New York State Athletic Commission to declare it would not sanction the fight at anything less that 205 pounds.
According to Paul, Rahman wouldn't agree to the new contract.
"Upon receiving this new contract Saturday morning," MVP's statement reads, "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."
Because of this Paul and his team decided to cancel the fight.
"First Tommy Fumbled and now Hasim Rahman crumbled," Jake Paul tweeted. "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."
Rahman Jr. responded, asking why he was required to be weighing in two and three weeks before a fight.
"I didn't even get a chance to hit the scale on 8/5 like the contract said," Rahman Jr. tweeted. "How [is] the fight off on me when THEY cancelled the event."
In combat sports it is relatively normal for fighters to cut weight closer to the fight, by losing water weight rapidly. Many fighters, particularly in MMA, use this technique in an attempt to gain a weight advantage on fight night -- dehydrating themselves for weigh-ins and putting the weight back on quickly in time for the fight. Most likely these initial weight assurances were made to ensure Rahman Jr. didn't try to dehydrate himself in this way, giving him a massive weight advantage over Paul.
Regardless, the fight is now off.
Hasim Rahman Jr. himself was a replacement. After Paul's first scheduled opponent, Tommy Fury,and ultimately pulled out of the fight, Paul's team scrambled to find a replacement. Hasim Rahman Jr. was that replacement -- a 12-1 heavyweight.
Who is Hasim Rahman Jr.?
Hasim Rahman Jr. is the son of legendary heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman, who famously knocked out Lennox Lewis in a massive upset victory back in 2001.
But Hasim Rahman Jr. has amassed quite the record himself. At age 31 he's now a 12-1 fighter. His sole loss came recently via knockout at the hands of the undefeated James McKenzie Morrison earlier this year in April. Morrison represented the first real challenge Rahman Jr. faced. Up until that point the majority of his fights featured boxers with losing or mixed records at best.
Who is Jake Paul?
You're probably aware of Paul, the social media personality who first made it big on Vine before moving across to every platform in existence. He's moved into boxing in recent years after fighting on the undercard of brother Logan Paul's viral boxing match with UK YouTuber KSI. He showed a talent for boxing and has been fighting ever since.
Paul has also moved into promotion, co-promoting a huge fight between Ireland's Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano, which was one of the biggest female boxing matches of all time.