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Yoel Judah, the trainer of Hasim Rahman Jr., believes his fighter is exactly where he should be five years and 13 fights into his pro career. In three years, Judah said, Rahman will be fighting for a major world title.
In other words, Rahman and his team believe he’s much farther along than his Aug. 6 pay-per-view opponent, Jake Paul.
“There’s nothing Jake Paul does that concerns me,” said Rahman, who will face Paul at Madison Square Garden in New York. “I’m just super confident going into this fight. I feel like this guy is not at my level. He made a mistake picking me.”
Rahman (12-1, 6 KOs) is about a 2-1 underdog but many believe he has a decent chance of becoming the first to beat Paul (5-0, 4 KOs) for a simple reason: He’s the first boxer Paul will have faced.
Trainer Yoel Judah (right) believes Hasim Rahman Jr. is too skillful for Jake Paul. Al Powers / Showtime Boxing.
Paul’s previous five opponents were a fellow YouTuber, a retired basketball player and two MMA stars, the last of whom (Tyron Woodley) he beat twice.
That’s the main reason Rahman and Co. are so confident even though he was stopped in five rounds by James McKenzie Morrison, the son of Tommy Morrison, in his most recent fight, in April.
Hasim Rahman Sr., the conqueror of Lennix Lewis, believes his son will record a knockout.
“I feel like when you get a certain status you start feeling you’re invincible,” the elder Rahman said of Paul. “… But it’s one thing to say something and another thing to go out there and do it. When he has to go out and do it, he’s going to realize it wasn’t as easy as he thought it was going to be. …
“I just feel like we don’t have to look for a KO. I just feel like we have superior boxing skills. His boxing IQ is much great than Jake Paul’s and I just personally feel like the knockout is going to come.”
What about Paul’s power?
The social media star has his critics, who point to his lack of experience. However, many believe he has been blessed with impressive punching power. Most recently, he took out Woodley with one punch.
Judah isn’t worried.
“We’re not really concerned with Jake Paul’s power,” he said. “We don’t need to show how good our chin is. We don’t need to show what his right hand can do. What we can do is take his right hand away from him.
“We aren’t going to get hit with the right hand, but if we do, we are going to fire back with our own counter. It’s going to be an interesting fight. Jake Paul can fight. Don’t get it twisted. But I’m not impressed by the knockouts he’s had. I don’t really feel like he’s knocked out a fighter yet.”
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