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Featured Image Credit: @hasimrahmanjr/Instagram/@jakepaul/Instagram
Professional boxer Hasim Rahman Jr. has claimed he had to follow a rule in order to get paid when he sparred with Jake Paul in February 2020.
Rahman Jr. is set to go up against Paul in a fight on 6 August after Love Island star Tommy Fury said no to the event, marking the third time they will face off after already having had two sparring sessions.
Paul has previously released footage of the pair sparring, and in a new interview released this week Rahman Jr. implied he was being set up to look bad in the video.
Speaking on The MMA Hour, the 31-year-old explained: “I was going to tell him... ‘In boxing, this don’t count – the sparring don’t count'. But to Jake, sparring is like a fight, because obviously he has no amateur experience. So if he’s doing well against a professional, he’s thinking, ‘Oh, I can really do this, I can really do this to this guy.’"
Rahman Jr. went on to claim he was 'trying to humble' Paul, adding: "When you watch [the spar] back you'll see I rarely use my right hand and... I'm only standing one way... On top of that, he has three or four cameras rolling and... I know how Jake Paul gets down. He's going to chop it up and edit it the way he did."
The boxer recalled telling Paul he was 'being disrespectful', explaining: "It had nothing to do with the actual boxing, the sparring session," the boxer said. "It was just his disrespect for the sport and for what we were doing. I came to give you a look. I didn’t come to beat you up, or to see if you were even on my level, or you were ready for this level."
Rahman Jr. went on to claim he was 'actually asked by [Paul's] coaches' not to knock him out, saying: "I was told that if you knock him out, you’re most likely not going to get paid.”
The boxer claimed he was getting 'about $100 a round' at the time, adding: "This is just easy work sparring for me... It was definitely something that I didn't want to throw away but at the same time you're not going to disrespect me and disrespect the sport."
As well as allegedly asking the boxer not to knock out Paul, Rahman Jr. accused the YouTuber's team of misleading him when it came to finding a new opponent for Paul's August fight.
He alleged the team reached out 'under the pretense' that there would be another sparring session, only to suddenly be met with the offer of the fight.
Rahman Jr. explained: "It was a little shady. His coach called me, and he’s asking me how much I weigh, how I’m feeling about my last fight, what I’ve been doing in the gym, how much I’ve been sparring ... but he was asking me under the pretense that I would come in and spar Jake as a southpaw for the Anderson Silva [fight].
“I’m thinking they’re about to call me back and get me on a flight to Puerto Rico to help them out for Anderson. An hour later, I get a call saying they want to fight. So all those questions were really trying to line me up to fight me. It was never a sparring situation.”
He ultimately agreed to the fight, but alleged his contract demands 25 percent of his purse for every pound he is over.
LADbible has reached out to Jake Paul for further comment.