Hasim Rahman assures his son will be in rare form against Jake Paul. Hasim Rahman Jr. follows in his father’s footsteps competing in New York’s famed Madison Square Garden.
Both parties took part in a press conference on Tuesday ahead of Paul vs. Rahman Jr. at MSG on Aug. 6. The two-time world heavyweight champion was critical of his son’s efforts to date but assured that Rahman Jr. will be more than equipped to deal with Paul.
“Flat out, I’m going to give you the honest answer,” he said. “I don’t know if my son is going to like it but I’m going to tell the truth because that’s what I do. My son has really underperformed and underprepared for pretty much all of his fights. But he will be ready for this one.”
The only concern Rahman Sr. has is the feedback his son will get after snapping Paul’s undefeated streak.
“I’m excited like everybody else. I just don’t know how I’ll feel when Jake’s hundred billion fans hate my son. After the fight, they’re going to hate him,” Rahman Sr. said. “Obviously, we find it disrespectful. Jake is a real fighter. He is a real fighter and we respect that, but I just think he’s moving too quick. I think he picked the wrong guy at the wrong time.”
Paul, in a separate interview with Luke Thomas for “Morning Kombat,” admitted he was caught off-guard by Rahman Sr. publicly criticizing his own son.
“It’s weird, I don’t know what’s going on over there,” Paul said. “They seem to not be very smart. They don’t seem to have any sort of strategy. I think they’re underestimating me. I was surprised by that. That’s just terrible for his dad to throw him under the bus like that.”
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Paul (5-0, 4 KOs) will for the first time in his professional boxing career fight someone with professional experience, excluding a technicality in the Tyron Woodley rematch. Rahman Jr. (12-1, 6 KOs) is coming off the first professional loss and finish of his pro career. Rahman Jr. traditionally fights at heavyweight but will compete against Paul at the cruiserweight limit of 200 pounds. Paul props up Rahman Jr. as a bigger foe, but Rahman Jr. rejects the label. The younger Rahman argued that a hydration stipulation in the fight contract will force Rahman Jr. to remain at a size closer to Paul on Fight Night.
“You’re stacking the deck,” Rahman Jr. said. “You can’t do that, that’s out. You don’t know how much I’m going to weigh on the night of the fight. You keep calling me a heavyweight… Why do you keep calling me a heavyweight, talking about how I’m a heavyweight when you’re not fighting me at heavyweight? If you was really that, you would have fought me at heavyweight.
“There wouldn’t have been no, ‘Oh bring him down to 200 pounds and make sure he can’t go over 210,’ come on man. You saw I just weighed 224 pounds in April. Stop playing with me, you put a 10-pound rehydration clause in the contract, shut your ass up.”
Paul contradicted Rahman Jr.’s assessment of the hydration clause when speaking with “Morning Kombat.”
“We’re fighting at 200 pounds. He has to weigh 200 pounds on Friday. Then Saturday morning, he can weigh as much as 215 pounds. The night of the fight he can weigh as much as he wants.
“The New York State Athletic Commission wanted to put this clause in place because they were worried about him having such a crazy size advantage. They almost didn’t want to sanction the fight because they were concerned about his experience over mine.”
Paul knocked out former UFC welterweight champion Woodley in his last fight and also holds a knockout win over former Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren.