Disappointed fighters who were set to feature on the undercard of Jake Paul 's event at Madison Square Garden will be remunerated after the show was cancelled.
Paul, 25, was due to face Hasim Rahman Jr. in what would have been his first test against an active professional boxer. However, the YouTuber -turned-boxer confirmed one week prior to the event that the fight would no longer go ahead, citing Rahman's failure to meet weight limits as the reason.
Legions of social media spectators questioned what that would mean for an undercard comprising fights with Amanda Serrano, Brandun Lee and Ashton Sylve. Each of those fighters are in talks to complete their bouts at a later date, but Most Valuable Promotions (MVP) co-founder Paul said in a statement that all others combatants will receive 50 per cent of their contract's value.
"Today was supposed to be the day I fought a 'real boxer' at MSG," said Paul in a tweet accompanying MVP's statement. "It wasn’t meant to be. My opponents were both frauds. I will be back. Much bigger fights ahead. Again I want to thank all of the undercard fighters. We got you."
The announcement also confirmed those fighters are now "free of any contractual obligations" to MVP. It concluded by saying Most Valuable Promotions 'remains committed to fair fighter compensation," with Paul in the past taking aim at the UFC for not paying its stars enough.
The former Disney actor may have won back some favour after confirming at least partial compensation for those fighting. However, many may wonder why the announcement wasn't made when the event was cancelled, and whether the decision was made merely in the wake of a backlash.
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Despite the fight being scrapped at such short notice, Rahman conducted a weigh-in of his own on Friday. The 12-1 fighter came in at 206.6 pounds, just 1.6 pounds over the agreed limit and negligible enough that a fixture still might have gone ahead with certain concessions.
Rahman also uploaded footage of him and Paul sparring, recorded when the latter was preparing to face former NBA player Nate Robinson in 2020. Paul can be seen running away from his opponent at one point, a point of reference for Rahman's previous press conference jibe that "he [Paul] a runner, he a track star."
The cancelled MSG event had the potential to be the biggest of Paul's career to date, though there were fears for the Ohio native in his first outing against a 'real pro.' Rahman Jr. remains open to a clash and has encouraged Paul to reschedule their bout, though it remains to be seen if he'll agree.