For a second time, Jake Paul’s planned fight with Tommy Fury has fallen through. Paul announced on Twitter that he had given Fury a “termination notice” and was moving on to a new opponent for his headline bout on Aug. 6 in New York’s Madison Square Garden.
That opponent is Hasim Rahman Jr. Paul told ESPN in an interview on Thursday that he chose Rahman Jr. to keep the card in tact and to finally check off the list of having faced an actual boxer.
“I’m literally crazy,” Paul said. “There’s no reason why I should be taking this fight. … I want to prove to the boxing world that I’m a real dog, which I am. And I’m gonna go in there against this 12-1 kid who is bigger than Tommy Fury, faster than Tommy Fury — all of these things. And I’m gonna put on the performance of a lifetime and just shut everyone up.”
Rahman Jr., the son of former heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman. Rahman is 12-1 with six knockout victories as a professional. He’s also a former sparring partner of Paul. Rahman won his first 12 fights before suffering a fifth-round knockout to James McKenzie Morrison, the son of former heavyweight contender Tommy Morrison.
Rahman addresses one area Paul’s critics have targeted as he is a trained boxer who has competed in the sport at the professional level, unlike the social media personalities and mixed martial artists who make up Paul’s current 5-0 record.
Fury was denied entry into the United States last week, causing him to miss a press conference to promote the fight with Paul. The denial stemmed from Fury — and his older brother, heavyweight champion Tyson Fury — being tied alleged Irish crime boss Daniel Kinahan. Kinahan was one of the founders of MTK Global, which managed fighters in MMA and boxing, including Fury. MTK Global closed down earlier this year after the U.S. imposed sanctions on the company.
Fury and Paul were first scheduled to meet this past December when Fury was forced out of the fight due to a bacterial infection and fractured rib. Tyron Woodley stepped in on short notice and was knocked out by Paul in the sixth round of their rematch.