In the fallout of yet another canceled event as Jake Paul vs Hasim Rahman Jr. has been called off, Joe Rogan believes this one boils down to a lack of interest at the box office.
Despite having just five fights to his name in his brief combat sports career, Paul has already dealt with multiple opponent swaps and event shuffles. He and Tommy Fury were initially set to clash in 2021 before plans fell through and Tyron Woodley stepped in.
While 12-1 pro boxer Hasim Rahman Jr. took the challenge as a short-notice replacement, he ultimately couldn’t make the date due to weight-cut disputes.
While Fury’s troubles are one thing, veteran UFC commentator Joe Rogan believes this latest contest wasn’t actually called off for the reasons cited. Although it may have played a factor, the more critical reason is a general lack of interest in the matchup, he argued on the August 2 episode of his JRE podcast.
“Most likely it was canceled for numerous reasons,” Rogan said when discussing the scrapped PPV. “[Weight issues] may have been one of them, but the allegations I’m hearing are that they sold so few tickets that it would be a real problem financially.”
Having booked Madison Square Garden for the August 6 event, Paul initially planned to throw down against Fury, a highly anticipated matchup featuring two big draws. However, with Rahman Jr. added to the mix instead, the ‘world’s most famous arena’ now seemed too ambitious for the fight, according to Rogan.
“They had only sold a million dollars worth of tickets,” he claimed. “If you want to turn the lights on in Madison Square Garden, it costs half a million dollars. You have to sell a lot of tickets if you want to make some money at MSG.”
Despite his best efforts to amp things up and keep fans interested, Paul’s PPV event was ultimately called off just one week out on July 31.
For Rogan’s money, there was no heat behind the matchup to draw fans in. “Who the f***wanted to see that fight?” Nobody wanted to see that fight.”
As for what Paul does next, we’ll have to wait and see. With Rahman Jr. out of the equation, and a third attempt at the Fury match quite unlikely, it leaves the social media star with limited options.