Bernard Hopkins explained how Jake Paul could get the credit he craves in boxing ahead of a fight with Hasim Rahman Jr.
“B-Hop” – who recently got inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, doesn’t see Rahman as the way to do that. This is despite Paul getting shadowed by the New York State Athletic Commission in his opponent search.
Jake Paul’s sparring partner
The NYSAC told Paul he could not face another MMA fighter. This scenario left no option for Jake Paul but to oppose a real boxer. He then opted to fight a former sparring partner, with whom he already had experience in the ring.
“There were certain names that they wouldn’t approve. That was mostly MMA fighters. Then we were like, ‘alright, we need a professional boxer.'”
He added: “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.”
Hopkins, the oldest world boxing champion in history, says even Rahman is not the test Paul needs to be recognized in the sport.
“He’s fighting Rahamn Jr. He’s not fighting Rahman,” said Hopkins to Elie Seckbach. “I mean Rahman Jr. can fight. He’s got that bloodline.
“I mean, I like Jake Paul. I like his whole facade, how he came in and turned American TV, especially the YouTuber sensation. He’s made millions of dollars and is successful.
“He pays people very, very well. A lot of UFC fighters said they would switch over [to boxing] because of that. But I just want to see Jake Paul fight someone more credible.
“That’s why you’ve got to mention Rahman’s son. He’s not known as Rahman Jr. He’s known as [Hasim] Rahman’s son. That should tell you.
“You don’t have to use someone’s son, daughter, or whatever to give credibility to what he can do. Yes, he’s got the bloodline, but does he have the talent to beat a Jake Paul?
“I’d say absolutely not. So for me, and only speaking for Bernard Hopkins, whatever happens with Jake Paul and Rahman Jr., it’s not going to convince me [Jake Paul is a credible fighter].
“Until he fights a guy like in a catchweight or somebody who’s tougher. He’s got to fight a guy in the Hall of Fame. Or someone about to get into the Hall of Fame.
“Somebody with credibility.”
Paul continues to call out bigger names but always signs to fight boxers way down the world rankings. Rahman Jr. is currently rated 217 in the world at heavyweight by Boxrec. This fact tells you all you need to know, especially considering that Paul wants the 250-pounder to boil down and compete at 200 pounds.
Many see Rahman as a solid test due to Paul’s less-than-impressive skill set. His boxing ability is questionable at best. The Disney star’s chin has faced difficulties by slighter MMA fighters, some of whom rocked him badly.
But whether Rahman will be too weight drained to be a threat remains to be seen. Hopkins certainly has a point regarding the circus taking on a new dimension in headling at Madison Square Garden.
The proof will be in the fight.