JAKE PAUL EXCLUSIVE: The Problem Child insists his doubters ‘fuel him’ after cancelling his fight against Hasim Rahman Jr and jokes he wants to ‘SHANK’ Tommy Fury after he ignored his help to get him into the US – despite his ‘connections in politics’
- Jake Paul’s fight with Hasim Rahman Jr has been cancelled over weight dispute
- He also canned his bout with Tommy Fury after he was barred from the US
- But Paul claims he had ‘connections’ who could have got Fury into the country
- He said the Love Island star ignored his help after messaging him on Instagram
- Paul says he is ‘fuelled’ by his doubters and those who want to see him KO’d
They call him ‘The Problem Child’ – and there have been plenty of problems for Jake Paul lately. In the last seven months, he has seen three fights go up in smoke. Two with Love Island star Tommy Fury and now his bout with replacement Hasim Rahman Jr has been canned too.
Since the YouTuber stepped into the ring in 2020 he has been good at spinning things his way on social media to ridicule an opponent, so it was no surprise this week to see him immediately pounce on Rahman Jr as a ‘fraud fake fighter’ over a dispute about making weight – claiming both him and Fury are ‘scared to fight me’.
However, this is a setback for Paul. He has his critics but has been largely successful with a profile that is growing hugely across the world. This was supposed to be the fight that silenced the doubters who claimed he had never fought a professional boxer. Indeed, victory at Madison Square Garden would have given him an official ranking with the WBC.
Jake Paul has seen a third fight go up in smoke in seven months after his bout against Hasim Rahman Jr was cancelled
Paul scrapped the fight after being unconvinced that Rahman would make the 205lb limit
Many fans crave to see Paul knocked out after five straight wins against opponents of questionable calibre – though they continue to tune in on PPV. He is constantly being talked about and that is the true essence of his game plan.
The cancellation of his fight against Rahman Jr will no doubt give Paul more haters, but he insists it only gives him more ‘fuel’.
‘People can not like me, but they have to respect me and my skill,’ he tells Sportsmail. ‘They can say he’s arrogant, he’s cocky, he’s an a**hole. Cool, that’s great, but you have to respect my skill because I show up and perform every time. Four years ago I was waving a wand on the Disney channel so you have to respect that.’
What about his message for those who want to see him KO’d?
Paul insists he is ‘fuelled’ by his doubters and those who watch his fights to see him KO’d
‘That s**t motivates me, it gives me fuel,’ he adds. ‘My response to that is – tune in to my fights if you want to see me get knocked out. People have doubted me my whole entire life and I just thrive off it.
‘I love proving people wrong and I remember all the things they say – I put it up in my gym for motivation. I have a picture in my gym of Eddie Hearn saying “wait til he fights a real boxer”. It has made me ten times better.’
Paul had vowed to knock out Rahman Jr – his former sparring partner who he shares a bitter relationship with after a clip of a row during a training session went viral.
That rivalry has only turned more sour after Paul scrapped their fight with a week to go after being unconvinced that Rahman Jr would make the agreed 205lbs weight limit, with his opponent indicating he would weigh in at 215lbs.
Paul and Rahman’s rivalry dates back to 2020 when they were filmed having an argument after a sparring session
Paul and his promotional company Most Valuable Promotions accused him of acting in a ‘deceiving and calculated manner’ and their dislike for one an another is clear after the collapse of this grudge match.
We had already seen the pair trade barbs in a very angry press conference, which Paul believes is a sign he won the verbal jousting.
‘He fed right into the game plan,’ he added. ‘I can get under his skin up very easily, he’s a very emotional guy. I could tell he was worked up at the press conference because when he lifted his arms up he was sweating like crazy. None of that stuff is personal to me – I stay focused on me, let him talk himself in circles.’
The sparring clip saw Rahman Jr screaming at Paul after a session, accusing him of calling him ‘a b***h’, and later claiming he had dominated the spar – so much so that he was fighting him with one hand. Paul reiterates that it was close and he pulled back the curtain on why his rival was so irate.
‘That was two years ago and it was a lot closer of a spar, but I’m just a better fighter,’ he said. ‘He might have been going easy and maybe he was – but none of that matters.
The YouTuber believes he has got under Rahman Jr’s skin and feels he is scared to face him
‘He just kept saying I’m never going to be anything, I’m a YouTuber, I’m never going to have a boxing career, that my punches are slow. I was talking s**t back and jabbing him up, so that’s where the tensions came from. He got p***ed after and wanted to fight after.
‘I think it’s hilarious when fighters want to fight after we just fought. Now you want to fight me again but without gloves on? What’s the difference?’
It’s difficult to know if that fight will ever get resurrected, but there is no doubt Paul has shown an ability to quickly set up fights by getting under people’s skin.
Paul – a former influencer and Disney channel star – enjoys winding up boxers – we’ve seen him do it with Conor McGregor and even Canelo. These fighters are insulted to be mentioned in the same breath as him, but they don’t realise they’re falling into his trap and that’s how he’s managed to stay relevant.
One such fighter who has been riled up by Paul is Tommy Fury – who claimed he was denied entry to the United States for their fight this summer after attempting to fly out to the press conference.
He also relished humiliating Tommy Fury after their fight was cancelled following the British star’s inability to enter the USA
His heavyweight champion brother Tyson has also been blocked from travelling to America over the family’s ties to wanted criminal Daniel Kinahan.
Paul has mocked Fury at every opportunity – including after he pulled out of their first fight in December due to a broken rib – but insists he extended an olive tree out to Tommy in a bid to get him entry.
He says he had contacts in the Government and inside the US embassy who could have helped Fury – only for the British fighter to ignore him and ‘disappear’.
‘We had people ready to get him into the country and within the embassy,’ Paul tells me. ‘I have a ton of connections in politics and we were able to get him in, and he disappeared off the face of the Earth.
‘I DM’ed him. When I mentioned him in an Instagram story it would say “seen”. I messaged him this whole thing – “here I have this person to get you in, contact this person, we’ll get you in”. He still hasn’t opened the message.
‘He wasn’t even responding to his own promoters. Who knows if he even went to the airport. The guy is a flake. This is the second time he’s done this now. You’d think if there was a famous guy like Tommy who went to the airport there would be a picture of him, but there’s nothing. As far as I’m concerned, the kid is scared and he’s a joke.’
When Sportsmail interviewed Fury in April, the 23-year-old dismissed Paul and stated that he needed him rather than the other way around. But his American rival scoffed at that claim, calling it ‘the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard’.
‘I was going to gave him the biggest payday of his career. He was getting 50k [for previous fights] and I offered him 200k. Then I was going to offer him a couple of million. I make that for Instagram posts. The fact he said “Jake needs me” is hilarious, it’s delusion. The kid has done nothing, he’s a reality TV star who is the younger brother of a world champion – who everyone respects. He has followers because of his brother.’
Paul laid into Fury for ‘wasting my time’ and claimed he had connections in politics’ who could have gained him entry into the country
After all the bad blood and words exchanged on social media, there is still value and genuine interest in the fight. It was a fight that would have performed exceptionally well on PPV and one that was intriguing non-boxing fans.
But Paul insists he has ‘no respect’ for Fury and didn’t indulge in discussing the possibility of resurrecting the fight, admitting he just enjoys making him look bad after giving him plenty of stick online.
‘He’s wasting my time, he has to pay for that. He’s wasting millions of dollars, cancelling these fights. He’s a f***ing joke. It’s annoying and it’s p***ing everyone off. It’s not me making him look bad – he does look bad. He is a p***y, he is a b***h and I’m just shining a spotlight on that.’
Paul is so ticked off about Fury’s behaviour that he might end up settling their feud with a street fight in the UK – joking he wants to ‘shank’ his rival.
Paul said he had ‘no respect’ for Fury and joked he wanted to fly to the UK and ‘shank’ him
‘I don’t know – [about resurrecting the fight]. Especially after he sees what I can do to Hasim, I don’t think he’s going to want to fight me. I might just clap him up on the street – I’ll fly to the UK and shank him! Give him a good nick, that scally wag.’
For all the stick Paul has got in his career, he has been working hard to give back to the sport – including his huge support for the women’s game. He has partnered with Amanda Serrano and helped promote her massive bout with Katie Taylor – which was the biggest fight in women’s boxing history.
Paul says people are reluctant to give him kudos for supporting boxing and criticised big names like Canelo Alvarez and Floyd Mayweather for ‘not caring’.
‘People don’t want to give me the credit yet, soon they will see what I’m doing for the sport,’ he says. ‘Canelo and Floyd Mayweather are big names but they don’t do anything to grow the sport, they don’t care about anyone else.
The 25-year-old feels he is growing the sport and hit out at big names for ‘not caring’
‘They don’t use their platform to help fighters or speak out against fighter pay and healthcare – they never have, and they’re in their forties. Imagine what else I could do? I’m just getting started.’
Not long ago, Paul was on the screens of YouTube and mostly known for being on the Disney Channel show Bizaardvark.
But he claims social media soon became an ‘unhealthy’ profession before he discovered his love of boxing.
‘I stopped doing social media first – I didn’t know what was next, I just didn’t like it anymore,’ he said. ‘I know it wasn’t healthy for me, I disconnected from it. I was figuring out what was next for me. I was doing music and business stuff – and then slowly I fell in love with boxing. I was craving it more and more and it inately became the next thing for me.’
Paul was arguably one of the pioneers of ‘influencer boxing’ after he fought fellow YouTuber Ali Eson Gib, just after his brother Logan twice fought content creator KSI.
Paul believes influencer boxing could be the future of the sport and wants to see professional fighters use social media more in the build up to their fights
‘People shouldn’t hate on it,’ he adds. ‘It’s more entertaining than a lot of these other fights. It’s not fun to see 110 pounders tap each other in the face for 12 rounds.
‘We had a UFC event on during an influencer event. No one was even watching the UFC event. I’d rather see two influencers, brawling, going at it, bleeding out of their noses. Who had more heart, who trained harder? That to me is more exciting.’
So, is this the future of boxing? Paul feels boxing as we know it is here to stay, but wants to see fighters mesh the influencer and professional sports together.
‘People care more about the influencers because they know them and there’s way more build up. You see their training and I think it’s cooler.
‘The future of the sport is when professional boxers adapt to social media and become influencers too.’
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