Jake Paul may have encountered another hurdle on the road to August 6.
After an initial bout with Tommy Fury fell through due to alleged travel issues on Fury’s part, Paul pivoted last week to a short-notice matchup against Hasim Rahman Jr., the son of former two-time heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman. Paul and Rahman Jr. are expected to promote the new bout in a press conference on Tuesday in New York City.
But on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour, Paul revealed the press conference — and the fight — may actually be in jeopardy because of ongoing negotiations behind the scenes.
“Hasim Rahman Jr., actually right now, is trying to renegotiate his contract,” Paul said. “So he signed a contract last week for 10 times more than he’s ever been paid for any one of his fights, and now — boom, fast-forward one week — he’s trying to renegotiate, he’s trying to suck more money out of the fight, he’s trying to do anything he can to claw and make the money, because I think he realizes the consequences of what might happen.
“I think he’s actually scared to fight me. A lot of these guys are excited by the money at first, and then when it actually comes time to start training and getting into camp and doing all of these things, they all chicken out. So who knows if this fight is even going to happen at this point, because we’re not going to pay him more money. He’s not worth it. He has name but he doesn’t have a massive name. So it’s unfortunate, man.”
Rahman Jr. is 12-1 in his pro boxing run. This past April, he suffered the first loss of his professional career when was knocked out by James Morrison.
Paul has emerged as one of the highest-paid athletes in combat sports while compiling a 5-0 record as a professional. His most recent outings saw him outpoint Tyron Woodley via split decision before scoring a highlight-reel knockout over the former UFC welterweight champion in their December 2021 rematch.
Paul indicated Monday that Rahman Jr.’s team is threatening to no-show the press conference if they don’t get their wishes met to renegotiate terms.
“I think his team is, and we don’t give a f***,” Paul said. “I’m not paying the guy more. I’m tired of these guys trying to overprice themselves. We’re paying him 10 times more than he’s ever made, and now he’s trying to ask for 30 times more than what he’s ever made, all of a sudden, but there’s a signed contract already. He already signed on the dotted line, and now he’s trying to go back and be like, ‘Well, I’m not going to fight.’
“If Hasim pulls out, we just won’t do the event,” Paul added. “I’m tired of switching opponents. There’s really no other names. We’ll have to reset, reschedule, and it’s too last-minute to switch out another opponent. The tickets and it creates so many complications for refunds and it’s just a f****** nightmare and a pain in the ass. At this point, it’s too late to give someone [else] a fair amount of time to train. I want someone in there who’s going to give me a challenge. So if we called someone up three weeks before and we were like, ‘Hey, we’ve got the fight in three weeks,’ then there could be the excuse of, ‘Well, they only had a couple of weeks to train, it wasn’t a fair fight, blah, blah blah.’
“So this a last resort. Hopefully it comes through. We’re not paying him more, so we’ll see what decision he makes. But it’s just really unfortunate. It pisses me off, man. It really f****** irks me, because it’s so crazy how the Disney Channel everyday kid is down to fight, but no one else is.”
Less than 24 hours out from their scheduled press event, Paul also issued a message directly to Rahman Jr.
“Don’t fumble the biggest bag of your life, dumbass,” Paul said. “I know you’re not a very smart guy, but you’re literally going to lose all of the f****** money right now. Don’t make the wrong decision, don’t let these sharks around you try to negotiate to get more money, because we’re not paying you more money. Show up, be a professional boxer, and don’t be a b****. You’re nothing like your dad. This might be your moment to become something like your dad, but right now you’ve let your dad down in every single thing you’ve done in your life, and if you fumble this, he’s going to be even more disappointed in you.
“So make it happen and come knock me out August 6, otherwise you’re a b****.”