Jake Paul’s most anticipated comeback against Hasim Rahman Jr., the son of former heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman, was called off Saturday due to Rahman’s failure to meet the agreed-upon 200-pound weight limit for the fight.
Rahman (12-1, 6 KOs) has competed at heavyweight throughout his professional career and last fought at 224 pounds in April. Paul (5-0, 4 KOs) was looking for his first challenge against a real boxer. He has victories over fellow YouTuber Ali Eson Gib, former NBA player Nate Robinson and MMA fighters Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley, whom he has fought twice, including an impressive knockout win. in the sixth round last December.
So who should Paul fight next? Assuming he still wants to fight a boxer, he has a few options. If he wants to get back to his options before Rahman, former UFC legend Anderson Silva and former middleweight boxing champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. are viable options.
But what about aiming higher? The WBC, which said last week it would rank Paul at cruiserweight level with a win over Rahman, created the bridgerweight division a few years ago for fighters between 201 and 224 pounds and could sanction a fight against its champion and Paul.
And there’s always Conor McGregor…
Mike Coppinger, Ben Baby and Michael Rothstein share their thoughts.
Back to Tommy Fury
Paul’s next opponent is expected to be the one he was originally supposed to fight – Tommy Fury.
Fury, of course, was unable to travel to the United States for their fight for undisclosed reasons. But why does this fight have to take place on this side of the Atlantic Ocean? Why not in the UK, where Fury is already a celebrity? Or, what about Saudi Arabia or Dubai, where the Fury family has established connections?
Fury is perfect because he serves no major purpose in the larger boxing landscape except to further establish Paul’s credibility for future fights. Although technically a pro, Fury is closer to Paul in terms of talent than to his half-brother, heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.
For the plot to continue, Paul must find an opponent who is a step up from previous challengers who moonlighted in boxing. A risky opponent who could beat Paul. Anyone with real boxing experience would be a big risk for Paul.
So everyone involved should find a way to bring Paul-Fury to life. Don’t neglect the easy things. — Well baby
Can Paul opt for a current champion?
Let’s not get carried away here. Yes, the cruiserweight division is widely considered the worst in boxing. And no, we’re not going to acknowledge the WBC’s absurd bridgerweight division (perhaps the more we ignore it, the quicker it disappears).
But even the worst heavyweight champion would slam Paul like an idiot. For example, Ryad Merhy holds a secondary title with the WBA. He has 30 professional fights against real boxers. Paul hasn’t even faced one yet. Small steps, Jake. — Babe
And Conor McGregor?
It might not be a terrible option if we’re being honest. McGregor ushered in the current era of novelty boxing when he fought Floyd Mayweather in 2017.
Despite being an accomplished UFC champion, McGregor had nothing to do with Mayweather, one of the greatest of all time. It happened again. And McGregor looked terrible. I think a McGregor-Paul fight would be sloppy and limp until someone knocks the other out. But imagine the build up to the night fight. Drama and bars would be on another level. A la carte purchases will be out of the ordinary. And it will be an absolute circus – the exact environment where both guys thrive. — Babe
Could he challenge a former UFC or boxing champion?
Paul insisted his next fight would come against someone with genuine boxing experience, and original foe Tommy Fury and replacement opponent Hasim Rahman Jr. fit the bill. .
With Fury and then Rahman out for Aug. 6, it’s fair to think Paul will be looking elsewhere for a dance partner whenever he returns to the ring.
Both Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., the son of the Mexican legend, and Anderson Silva are rumored to be in the game for August 6. It wouldn’t be surprising to see either of those two names win Paul’s next payday.
Chavez, long in his best days as a 160-pound titleholder, fought Silva in June 2021. The former UFC champion picked up the upset victory via split decision.
Silva is an inexperienced boxer and is 47 years old, but he seems to take training in the ring seriously, unlike Chavez. Chavez, whose last notable win came in 2012, would also be undersized against Paul, who typically fights at 190 pounds.
Surely there are better options for Paul if he’s looking to make a statement in his fifth pro fight. –Mike Coppinger
What about current prospects?
I know that defies the question, but it’s the most accurate answer: a fighter who is a “real” boxer that few fans have heard of. Let’s all remember that Paul still has less than ten fights in his career and is 25 years old. Yes, he sucks and he makes a lot of money, but at some point he has to fight someone in his weight class who is a boxer first. Preferably someone who is not above his level of experience.
I don’t see the possibility of him fighting for a championship now. I think there’s a real potential that it could happen later, but rushing something like that, in boxing, can lead to bad results.
For me, the most intriguing option – which might actually outsell the others – probably couldn’t happen due to the weight difference, and that’s Nico Ali Walsh. They both have similar notoriety and experience levels. But Walsh weighed around 160 pounds and Paul 190. That’s a bit too much weight difference, in my opinion.
Since you have to go with a name here, I’ll say Muhsin Cason (10-0, 7 KOs). He’s a fighter. He’s a true cruiserweight who doesn’t have too many pro fights on his resume. Paul already knows him, since Cason called him. Hasim Rahman Jr. even suggested Cason as a replacement on short notice. If Paul wants to be challenged, that might be a sensible fight to fight. –Michael Rothstein