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Momentous fiasco for Jake Paul

Jake Paul has to cancel a prestigious fight night in New York, a powerful rival talks about poor ticket sales. Has Paul’s star burned out already?

The first two fights between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. Jake LaMotta versus Sugar Ray Robinson. Rocky Marciano versus Joe Louis. Lennox Lewis versus Evander Holyfield.

The history of boxing in the venerable Madison Square Garden is long and rich in mythical encounters. And a certain Jake Paul would have been only too happy to join them.

Paul vs Hasim Rahman Jr, that was the plan for the next card this coming Saturday, August 6. Certainly not a fight to be remembered decades from now, but still a nice accolade for the YouTube star, who with a similar gimmick to Conor McGregor at the UFC had recently kept the boxing world ringing.

Now, however, the planned culmination of a curious sporting career has ended in fiasco – gloatingly commented on by a powerful enemy Paul has made in the fight industry.

Jake Paul vs Hasim Rahman Jr. cancelled

On Saturday night, Most Valuabale Promotions (MVP), the 25-year-old Paul’s fight agency, announced the cancellation of the event. Reason: Rahman had not kept to the weight limit appointments for the fight – and apparently never intended to.

Heavyweight Rahman, who at times had weighed in at 122 kilos, would have agreed to cut down to 200 pounds, just over 90 kilos, earlier this month.

But Rahman would not have kept to that by a long shot. Paul would still have been willing to accommodate him up to 205 (93 kilos). Rahman, however, would not have wanted to go below 215 (97 kilos) and otherwise threatened to withdraw from the fight. This “deceptive and calculating” behaviour was not to be rewarded and the fight evening was cancelled because of this, they had had “no choice”.

Rahman confirmed the course of events in an Instagram video, but passed the buck to the Paul camp: his body had “not managed” to thin out as agreed in the short preparation time. He had wanted the fight and also offered a postponement, but MVP was not caught up in it: “They clearly didn’t want this fight anymore. “

Heavyweight Rahman, who at times had weighed in at 122 kilos, would have agreed to slim down to 200 pounds, just over 90 kilos, earlier this month.

But Rahman would not have kept to that by a long shot. Paul would still have been willing to accommodate him up to 205 (93 kilos). Rahman, however, would not have wanted to go below 215 (97 kilos) and otherwise threatened to withdraw from the fight. This “deceptive and calculating” behaviour was not to be rewarded and the fight evening was cancelled because of this, they had had “no choice”.

Rahman confirmed the course of events in an Instagram video, but passed the buck to the Paul camp: his body had “not managed” to thin out as agreed in the short preparation time. He had wanted the fight and also offered a postponement, but MVP was not caught up in it: “They clearly didn’t want this fight anymore. “

UFC boss Dana White suspects trickier reason

Not everyone believes the cancellation is solely Rahman’s fault, however. Dana White, head of the MMA league UFC and a favourite foe of Paul’s, has already spoken out on the issue – and suspects that Paul’s camp cancelled the event primarily because ticket sales didn’t go well enough.

Not wanting to be “gloating, because both of these people put a lot of work and money into this,” White elaborated at the post-Pay Per View UFC 277 press conference in Dallas, “But I will say this much: having an accountant doesn’t mean you can run a combat sports company. Jake Paul should probably surround himself with other people.” He added that the people in charge at MVP were obviously incompetent.

“As far as I know, they made under a mill on ticket sales – and it takes $500,000 just to turn on the f**king lights at MSG,” explained White, who also pointed to the high hotel and transportation costs in the “Big Apple” where he himself regularly hosts.

Has the Jake Paul business model run its course?

White’s comments are not the first indication that the Jake Paul business model is not doing as well as it was some time ago.

Paul’s celebrity fight against ex-NBA star Nate Robinson on the undercard of the Mike Tyson – Roy Jones Jr. 2020 retired show fight had drawn so many buyers to the event that Paul established himself as an attraction.

He contested and won three fights against former UFC fighters Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley (each with a wrestling background rather than boxing), the fights were staged as spectacles, with stars such as Justin Bieber and Snoop Dogg in the audience. Paul signed a contract with the traditional provider Showtime.

Second fight against Tyron Woodley flops at box office

Paul himself claimed his fight against Askren sold a whopping 1.5 million Pay Per Views. The first fight against Woodley attracted 500,000 buyers according to independent reports, which is still very respectable.

After the second Woodley fight, Paul denied reports that the buy rate had plummeted to a disastrous 65,000 buys (not including streaming), but also admitted himself that the actually unwanted match had “not been the best business” for him.

Was Paul’s commercial success as a boxer just a flash in the pan? Was the early success based on a curiosity effect that has already massively ebbed away?

Brother Logan Paul moves from boxing to WWE

The critical questions have also been fuelled by the fact that Paul’s older brother and YouTube partner Logan Paul – in the ring last year in a strange fight with Floyd Mayweather – has recently changed his focus: He signed a contract as a wrestler with WWE – where he looked very good in a match against former champion The Miz at the big event SummerSlam on Sunday.

Six days earlier, Logan was a guest with WWE at Madison Square Garden, which is also held in honour there, and expressed his anticipation of seeing brother Jake in action there soon.

Nothing came of that now.

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