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Jake Paul Promises Undercard Fighters 50 Percent of Purse After Canceled Bouts

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 6, 2022

Jake Paul (Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

YouTube star Jake Paul announced he'll pay undercard fighters 50 percent of their expected purse despite the cancellation of Saturday's boxing card at Madison Square Garden.

The show, which was created by Paul's Most Valuable Promotions, was scrapped after he couldn't finalize a main-event opponent. Tommy Fury withdrew because of travel issues, and Hasim Rahman Jr. couldn't reach the contractually agreed upon weight.

Paul posted a statement on Twitter:

Jake Paul @jakepaul

Today was supposed to be the day I fought a “real boxer” at MSG. It wasn’t meant to be. My opponents were both frauds.<br><br>I will be back. Much bigger fights ahead.<br><br>Again I want to thank all of the undercard fighters. We got you. <a href="https://twitter.com/MostVpromotions?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MostVpromotions</a> <a href="https://t.co/FBOjZfGzgm">pic.twitter.com/FBOjZfGzgm</a>

In June, Fury was denied clearance to travel from England to the United States for a press conference to promote the fight with Paul.

He explained on Instagram (via ESPN) his Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) was not approved and he was not given a reason for the decision.

"I can stand here and say I've done absolutely nothing wrong and I have no clue why I am not allowed to travel to the USA," Fury said.

Rahman accepted the fight on short notice.

MVP said the original agreement was for a bout at 200 pounds and then Paul offered to move up to 205 pounds as a compromise. Rahman's camp said the minimum was 215 pounds and the boxer, who owns a 12-1 record, questioned the cancellation since they previously scrapped at a higher weight, per ESPN's Marc Raimondi.

"If you beat me up while I was 230, what's the problem fighting me at 215?" Rahman said. "What's the problem fighting me at 210? It's clearly them not wanting to fight. It's not me pulling out of the fight."

Paul has faced questions about when he'll take on a classically trained boxer after starting his career 5-0 by beating opponents from other backgrounds.

He's scored two wins over former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley after previous victories against former MMA fighter Ben Askren, former NBA guard Nate Robinson and fellow YouTuber Ali "AnEsonGib" Al-Fakhri.

MVP released a statement to Jack Figg of The Sun on Thursday, saying the promotion is "evaluating multiple opponents for Jake Paul to return in October."

Ariel Helwani of The MMA Hour reported Saturday that Paul has offered to replace Alex Wassabi in an Aug. 27 fight against another YouTuber, Olajide "KSI" Olatunji.

Even if that bout happens, the uncertainty about how Paul would perform against a career boxer would remain a key talking point.

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