Editor’s note: This article was originally published at MMAJunkie.com.
You can count Michael Rapaport among people who don’t appear to be Jake Paul fans.
The longtime actor and well-known sports fan has had a social media resurgence in the past few years for his “I am Rapaport” podcast. He posts regular rants on Instagram, and Wednesday he took aim at YouTube star-turned-boxer Jake Paul.
Rapaport joined the chorus of skeptics, including UFC president Dana White, who are saying the cancellation of Paul’s boxing match against Hasim Rahman Jr., which was supposed to take place Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York, where Rapaport is from, was because of something other than the announced reason.
Rapaport said poor ticket sales forced Paul’s side and the promotion to cancel the event under the guise of Rahman not being able to make weight. Rahman’s side has disputed that.
“Fake Paul … Fake Paul … Don’t front. Stop the lying and the bullcrapping,” Rapaport said in a video posted to Instagram. “Your fight that was supposed to go down in the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden, didn’t get canceled because of some weight thing to the fake fighter that you were going to fight in Madison Square Garden.
“It got canceled because no one bought tickets, OK? Because the ghosts of Madison Square Garden – the same arena where (Muhammad) Ali fought (Joe) Frazier, where Jake LaMotta fought Sugar Ray Robinson, where Hulk Hogan fought Andre the Giant … Madison Square Garden – they did not want to see you in there. No one bought tickets to that fake fight, Fake Paul. You’re not a fighter. You want to be a real fighter? Fight a real fighter, OK. Take a real drug test, OK? The ruse, the con, the bull-jive, is over, Fake Paul.”
Nakisa Bidarian, Paul’s business partner and a former accountant with the UFC, posted on Instagram on Tuesday to respond to White by saying the event was set to be one of MSG’s top 10 boxing gates since 2005.
According to Most Valuable Promotions, Rahman did not maintain his weight in an honest fashion and requested multiple times that the bout be shifted to a heavier weight class. The promotion claimed Rahman originally agreed to a 200-pound cruiserweight bout and provided proof to the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) that he weighed 216 pounds on July 7. But the promotion said at the time of cancellation that Rahman had only lost one pound since his July 7 weigh-in. The promotion said it offered a new 205-pound contract weight, but decided to cancel the bout after Rahman’s camp demanded 215 pounds.
Paul posted video comments about the fight falling off and said Rahman was scared to fight him.
“This is just another case of a professional boxer, just like Tommy Fury being scared to fight me,” Paul said. “It’s as clear as day that these guys have been so unprofessional to work with, looking for any excuse to suck more money out of this event, to coerce us into doing things. From the jump, I knew in the bottom of my heart that this guy didn’t want to get in there with me. It’s clear as day.”
Rapaport’s acting resume is deep. And while The Blue Corner forever will praise the majesty that was Rapaport as Dick Ritchie in “True Romance” alongside Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette nearly 30 years ago, more recently he’s had a recurring role in Season 2 of the Emmy-nominated “Only Murders in the Building” on Hulu and had a critically acclaimed role as Amy Schumer’s dad on “Life & Beth,” also on Hulu.
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