Dana White offers new theory as to why Jake Paul cancelled Hasim Rahman Jr fight
UFC president Dana White has suggested Jake Paul cancelled his fight with Hasim Rahman Jr because he failed to sell enough tickets.
Paul announced last night that he was shelving the fight card he had planned for Madison Square Garden next weekend. His fight with Rahman Jr, himself a replacement for Tommy Fury, fell by the wayside, as did Amanda Serrano's return following her defeat by Katie Taylor in March.
Paul accused Rahman Jr of losing just one pound in weight since signing the contract earlier this month and then demanding the bout be held at 215lb, a stone heavier than the contracted weight. The YouTube star, who normally fights at 190lb, felt he had no option to postpone.
But White, who has has a running verbal battle with the social media star, suggested poor ticket sales at a notoriously expensive venue may have contributed to the decision. "I think they sold under $1million in tickets and it costs $500,000 to turn the f***ing lights on at MSG," he said. "That’s what I think. Not to mention hotel rooms in New York and transportation is very expensive."
Paul, 25, had been due to face Fury next weekend but the brother of heavyweight legend Tyson was banned from flying to New York for a press conference. He was subsequently unable to secure a visa to the United States and Paul moved on to Rahman Jr.
Since announcing the news, Paul and Rahman have gone back and forth on social media with the son of a legend insisting it was not him who forced the fight to be called off. Rahman tweeted: "Jake and his 'team' cancelled this fight, not me! The fight isn’t happening on their accord not MINE!"
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But Paul offered a detailed explanation of his side of the story in a lengthy video. "Hasim Rahman Jr has pulled out of the fight. This is not a joke, I am devastated, I cannot f***ing believe this; we just found out this news," he said. "This is another case of a professional boxer, just like Tommy Fury, being scared to fight me.
"It is as clear as day that these guys have been so unprofessional to work with, looking for any excuse to suck more money out of this event, to coerce us into doing things and I knew from the jump that this guy didn't want to get in the ring with me."