As you probably now know, on Saturday's telecast, we found out seeing Danny Garcia defeat Jose Benavidez Jr.; it was announced that Jake Paul's main event PPV fight against Hasim Rahman Jr. was called off due to a weight disagreement.
Rahman Jr., the son of Hasim Rahman Jr., is boxing royalty but, in all honesty, has not lived up to his pedigree to this point as an amateur. Not unlike Lyndon B. Johnson's ability to control the senate, Paul has the innate ability to control people, especially the boxing public. Armed with a larger-than-life persona and an ability to talk directly to fans, not unlike what Dana White did in 2008, Paul comes across not unlike how Donald Trump probably does to some in this country, straightforward and not unlike Donald Trump people either love him or hate him. Even if the straightforward words are wrong at times, which in Paul's case they rarely are, they are put out in a manner in which they can be consumed and thought about by a wide range of people.
In short, many Presidents controlled the senate, Rupert Murdoch controlled the media, the Koch Brothers seemingly controlled the United States, Elon Musk is like a live version of Iron Man, and Paul exists amongst them armed as a young adult jumping from trend to trend with the same mission and intent as those listed above.
For this reason, one of the Paul brothers, either Jake or Logan, will inevitably run for President of the United States, as they have mastered the ability to shock you to be noticed, then using sincerity to get your respect. It is a dichotomy of being absurd in how they dress and then speaking essential truths that need to be heard once you listen.
Back to the ill-fated PPV fight initially set for August 6th at Madison Square, with the first bout being a Tommy Fury fight with Jake Paul, but that fell out for some reason. The replacement, Hasim Rahman Jr., a former Jake Paul sparring partner, would face Paul. The gimmick for this fight – this would be the first real boxer Paul had ever faced, as everyone else came from another industry, whether it was entertainment, MMA, or the NBA.
— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) July 26, 2022
Rahman Jr. seemed to have been picked for the bout, not for his accomplishments but more so for his flaws. James McKenzie Morrison had just stopped him after Rahman Jr. tired out. The loss lamented the major issue of Rahman Jr. – stamina which has always been his downfall. Not just was Hasim Rahman Jr., who competed at a career low of 220 lbs., sanctioned for a bout at 190 lbs., but essentially also had the mental pressure of facing a talented teen star/YouTuber who is much more formidable than any boxing purist will tell you in Jake Paul, who rises to the occasion each and every time. A loss to Paul makes you a punchline in many people's eyes, which creates pressure, day-in and day out.
On Saturday night, the fight was announced off as apparently the New York State Athletic Commission would not allow the fight to continue as Rahman Jr. had only lost one pound over the past three or so weeks since the bout was signed. The new weight was set at 205 lbs., and Paul agreed. Yet, something occurred, and now the fight is off – completely. No PPV this Saturday and no fights for Amanda Serrano, Ashton Slyve, Jeremiah Milton, and Brandun Lee. What a gut punch.
The blame goes to all parties, as it always does.
Rahman Jr. shouldn't have signed the bout if the weight was going to be an issue, even if the money was good. That is just the sport, and a contract is a contract. You never need to win a fight, but you do have to make weight. That being said, Paul put forth a rehydration clause and essentially stacked the deck against Rahman Jr. before the opening bell to the point that Rahman Jr. was not just fighting off weight but also mental fatigue. This was a situation Rahman Jr. had never been in before.
What this is doing, though, is the continued forward momentum of Jake Paul in boxing. Paul is now making two life-long pro boxers in, Tommy Fury, and Hasim Rahman Jr., look unprofessional and foolish, whether true or not. Add to the fact that he will also enter the WBC cruiserweight rankings after his next bout.
— Mauricio Sulaiman (@wbcmoro) July 30, 2022
We're entering a world that isn't “IF” Paul will win a world title, but when Paul will win a world title, as cruiserweight is one of the most vulnerable of all divisions, void of a true star that brings in top dollar. Paul might not be Usyk or Evander Holyfield, but he might be one of the only people who can bring the division back to American television; the sanctioning bodies see that.
Paul is exposing that being smart at business and having money is all you need, along with some talent to be a world champion. Most of these fighters are currently smoke and mirrors in boxing. Paul is the most glaring example of putting forth major events and good fights but also finding favorable match-ups to craft a career. Paul is finding the right fighters at the right time to build a legacy and craft a career unlike any we have ever seen from the ground up.
For the purist, this must be annoying, but it is rather interesting for those who like to invest in money markets. As China stays the course on its 50-year plan and Saudi Arabia has Saudi Vision 2030 – boxing has a world of fights we trick ourselves into caring about but really shouldn't care about. Many of the fighters ranked highly by sanctioning bodies are not the best in the division, but those who skip the line often bring interest to bouts. This was overlooked prior to Paul, but Paul's lack of pedigree makes the boxing system reveal a bit more about itself.
A prime example of this was this past weekend – Danny Garcia vs. Jose Benavidez Jr. In terms of history, it doesn't leave a footprint on the sport that much, but I wanted to see the two fights because I am fond of both but was the result was expected. Danny Garcia, the A-side, won the bout that I am not sure I will remember a moment from the fight, if not the fight at large. The bout was more so a chance for fans to see Danny Garcia fight, and that is what boxing is often becoming.
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) July 31, 2022
Paul is no different; the only thing that is different is Paul doesn't have the amateur pedigree and the backing stating that “…he is good.” Paul is destroying boxing's myths and slowly starting to take over. Well, Eddie Hearn has had good ideas but struggled to break into America; Paul's newfound love of boxing has helped him springboard into the sport because his prowess in making noise on all platforms has grown the sport. Add to it that Paul is actually fighting in competitive bouts for his skillset compared to other main event boxers sums up where we are at in 2022.
A social media influencer took up the sport a few years ago and is now offering better fights than some of our legends and fighting more often than many of the main event fighters. You have to respect Paul for doing that because that is great, but you have to look at some of these fighters' pride and wonder how this doesn't motivate them as well.
Boxing is entering two new worlds – one in which talent doesn't matter as much as what you bring in terms of live-gate and ratings, as well as soon viewing a dominant stance will be a thing of the past, as orthodox and southpaw will simply merge for a lot of these young fighters.
The lack of good fights of the past decade and the love of an undefeated record have created Jake Paul. That is why he is where he is. We don't get the fights we want, and Paul gives us fights with intrigue, drama, and build-up like most high-level fighters ought to. When he fights – I honestly have no clue what will happen, and that is something you can really say about boxing currently outside of a few fights.
Now add his political capital in the sport, as Paul is one of the few fighters entrusted to stand alone on PPV. His peers, Canelo Alvarez, Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, Gervonta “Tank” Davis, and Errol Spence Jr., are essentially the best fighters in the world. Paul has not accomplished that much but already has one of the largest voices in the sport – which I feel will only grow based on his huge following.
The most interesting thing about Paul. He views himself as the savior of boxing, yet a villain, which was expertly pointed out by SI's Greg Bishop to me. So, would that make his comparison, Thanos from The Avengers? A villain who truly believes he is helping the world through his destructive means.
Even more so, Paul is saving boxing. Paul is one of the few fighters outside of Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia I see relevant to young people in the world. Paul is the modern version of Kimbo Slice or Butterbean, but rather than a promoter controlling and/or manipulating his direction in the sport, Paul is truly his own boss and has already been on three networks, DAZN, Triller, and Showtime, bringing in ratings to each.
At this point, Paul is now simply a boxer. He is using the business tactics of a master boxing manager, and his profile in the boxing world is that of a mainstay boxer. Paul is about to take over the sport of boxing, whether people want to believe it or not. The hardest part of this story is…because of Jake Paul's influence which equates directly to dollars, Rahman Jr.'s side of the story will not get heard. Words are now weaponized; the truth is no longer important; it is now relative.