The boxing pay-per-view card scheduled for Aug. 6 with Jake Paul and Hasim Rahman Jr. was canceled due to a weight issue with Rahman, Paul’s Most Valuable Promotions (MVP) wrote in a statement Saturday night.
The event was to take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
According to MVP’s statement, Rahman’s camp told Paul’s team on Saturday morning that Rahman plans to weigh in next Friday at 215 pounds. Rahman had originally signed a contract for a fight at 200 pounds, and the statement indicated that Paul was willing to compromise to make the fight at 205 pounds. The MVP’s statement says Rahman’s camp said his fighter would pull out of the fight if the fight wasn’t at 215 pounds.
“MVP and Jake Paul will not reward someone who has conducted themselves in such a deceptive and calculated manner,” the statement read. “Therefore, MVP has no choice but to cancel the August 6 event. This forced outcome impacts Jake Paul, Amanda Serrano and all other fighters on this card who have been training tirelessly at the months for this event. The boxing community must hold Hasim Rahman Jr. accountable for his lack of professionalism.”
A representative for Rahman declined to comment when contacted by ESPN on Saturday night.
Serrano, one of the best female fighters in the world, was scheduled to fight Brenda Carabajal in the card’s co-main event.
The Paul-Rahman fight was set up in early July when Tommy Fury pulled out of his fight with Paul due to travel issues.
According to the MVP statement, Rahman signed a deal on July 6 to fight at 200 pounds. At that time, Rahman provided proof of his weight to MVP and the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) that he would lose no more than 10% of his weight between that time and the fight. Rahman, a heavyweight, last fought at 224 pounds in April and weighed up to 269 pounds as a pro.
On July 7, according to MVP, Rahman weighed 216 pounds, and he and his team had assured that he was on track to make the weight. In interviews with ESPN over the past two weeks, Rahman and his father, Hasim, both expressed confidence that making weight won’t be a problem.
MVP’s statement says Rahman provided a signed statement from a nutritionist that his weight was progressing, in accordance with NYSAC rules, which included weekly weight checks.
“Over the past 48 hours, it has become clear that these assurances were not made in good faith,” the MVP statement read.
MVP’s statement said that during a NYSAC weight check on Friday, Rahman had lost less than a pound since signing for the fight in early July. The commission, said MVP, said they would not sanction the fight under 205 pounds, which Paul was willing to accept. A new contract was then sent to Rahman’s team, according to MVP, with the weight changed and strict penalties imposed if Rahman missed the weight.
“After receiving this new contract on Saturday morning, Rahman’s camp indicated for the very first time that he plans to weigh 215 pounds at the official weigh-in and that he will not agree to weigh 205 pounds and inform Most Valuable Promotions that they are pulling out of the fight unless the fight is accepted at 215 pounds,” the statement read. A request for comment to NYSAC on Saturday night was not immediately returned.