Joe Ward [7(4)-1(1)] has been denied the chance to fight this weekend after Jake Paul pulled the plug on his proposed bout with Hasim Rahman Jr.
One of Ireland’s greatest ever amateurs was due to populate the undercard of Paul’s clash with Rahman Jr at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.
The Moate BC graduate was set for a big step up and the toughest fight of his career, after agreeing to trade leather with Frederic Julan [12(10)-1] on a card that Amanda Serrano was due to defend her featherweight world titles on.
However, the entire card has been cancelled because the main event was pulled over the weekend.
Paul’s management team Most Valuable Promotions released a statement alleging that Rahman was not going to be able to make the contracted weight for the bout and pulled the entire card.
It means Ward is left without a fight and will have to look for a fresh date and new card on which to register his eighth pro win.
The statement released by Team Paul read as follows.
“On July 5, Hasim Rahman, Jr. signed a bout agreement to fight Jake Paul on August 6th at Madison Square Garden at a maximum weight of 200 lbs. At the time of signing Rahman provided evidence of his weight to give comfort to Most Valuable Promotions and the New York State Athletic Commission that he would not be losing more than 10% of his weight over the 4 weeks leading up to the fight. Since weighing in at 216 lbs on July 7, Rahman and his camp have offered assurance after assurance publicly and privately that he was on track to make weight at the weigh-in on August 5th, going as far as to provide a letter signed by a recognized nutritionist that his weight cut was progressing without issue per New York State Athletic Commission’s required weekly weight checks. In the last 48 hours, it has become clear that these assurances were not made in good faith.
“On Friday, Rahman submitted a weight check to the New York State Athletic Commission that demonstrated he had lost less than 1 pound since originally signing to take the fight 24 days prior. This prompted the Commission to declare that it would not sanction the fight at less than 205 lbs. Still, Jake Paul was prepared to move forward with the fight at this new weight and a new contract was sent to Rahman’s promoter reflecting a 205 lbs. limit, imposing strict penalties should he fail to make weight. Upon receiving this new contract Saturday morning, Rahman’s camp indicated for the very first time that he planned to weigh 215 lbs. at the official weigh-in and would not agree to weigh-in at 205 pounds and informing Most Valuable Promotions that they are pulling out of the fight unless the fight was agreed to at 215 pounds.
“MVP and Jake Paul will not reward someone that has conducted themselves in such a deceiving and calculated manner. Therefore, MVP is left with no choice but to cancel the August 6th event. This forced outcome impacts Jake Paul, Amanda Serrano and every other fighter on this card who have trained tirelessly over the past few months for this event. The boxing community must hold Hasim Rahman Jr. liable for his lack of professionalism. There has been endless work, time, and money put into building this event and we want to thank our team, Showtime, Madison Square Garden, Holden Boxing and all of our partners for their continued support. Above everything we want to thank our fans for their commitment to the athletes and the sport of boxing.”