The New York State Athletic Commission ordered Jake Paul to face a real boxer if he was to headline at Madison Square Garden.
Paul, who is 5-0 without yet fighting anyone who can box, wanted to replace original opponent Tommy Fury with another MMA no-hoper.
Jake Paul’s opponent
However, the NYSAC forced Paul to choose a boxer and backed him into a corner. Therefore, Paul had to find someone he had a chance against despite his lack of skills.
The Disney star opted for Hasim Rahman Jr. after sharing sparring sessions with the heavyweight before his first bout.
Revealing that he tried to pick another Mixed Martial Artist, Paul told Morning Kombat: “They [the NYSAC] drove it a lot.
“There were certain names that they wouldn’t approve. That was mostly MMA fighters. Then we were like, ‘alright, we need a professional boxer.'”
New York Boxing Commission
When he chose Rahman, the NYSAC had even more concerns as the son of a legend is much bigger and hits hard.
“It sort of reversed because they were like, ‘we don’t know if we’re going to approve Jake for this.’
“They were just like everyone. This is a high-risk fight. This is insane. This is psychotic, and no boxer is taking chances like this as early on in their career.”
Those who called for Paul to step up to the plate will be happy with the clash. However, there are still doubts over the validity of choosing your ex-sparring partner.
Questions will get answered on fight night in New York as Paul aims to prove his doubters wrong.
“This is 100 percent a tougher fight [than Tommy Fury]. This is what I do,” pointed out Paul despite fighting five opponents without any boxing background.
“I take on hard challenges and challenge myself more and more. I increase the level of opposition and give the fans what they want.
“People say fight a real boxer – here we go. This guy is bigger than me. He has more experience.
“There’s no reason I should win this, but I’m proving to the world. I’m proving to the kids out there that if you truly put your mind to something and you’re dedicated, then you will win.”
Co-feature star Amanda Serrano, who Paul also promotes, praised the YouTuber for going for it.
“Jake Paul is fighting Hasim Rahman Jr. for a reason. We’re so much alike in the game of boxing,” said the former women’s Pound for Pound number one.
“I know he has all the heart and courage to go out there and do it. He’s training as if he’s fighting for a world title.
“So I have all the faith in his work ethic. He has that hammer, and that hammer can neutralize any opponent.”
Much praise has to go to the New York Commission for the pressure put on Jake Paul. Without it, we may have had another farcical fight that would prolong the circus far longer than needed.
On August 20, it could finally be all over.
The views expressed in this article are the opinions of Phil Jay.