The first survivor from the Jake Paul-Hasim Rahman Jr. fallout has been revealed.
BoxingScene.com has learned that plans are in place for the previously scheduled Brandun Lee-Will Madera bout to land on the August 20 Showtime card at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The ten-round bout will take place on the undercard preceding the Showtime Championship Boxing tripleheader headlined by a scheduled 12-round junior welterweight contest between former titlists Adrien Broner and Omar Figueroa.
The development allows Lee and Madera to barely miss a beat after their fight was caught in the ripple effect of the canceled August 6 Showtime Pay-Per-View event.
Lee-Madera was to take place at a maximum weight of 143 pounds as the second of a four-fight PPV show headlined by the Paul-Rahman fight at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Paul-Rahman fell apart due to a weight discrepancy, killing off the show as a whole. The main event was announced to take place at a 200-pound limit, pending approval by the New York State Athletic Commission who required Rahman Jr. (12-1, 6KOs) to submit to weekly weight checks to confirm he could safely make the weight. Rahman accepted the fight on less than one month’s notice, though there was concern of his making 200 after never weighing lighter than 211 for a pro fight.
The commission changed the maximum limit on July 30, calling for the mark to be raised to 205 from 200 pounds after it was learned that Rahman was still at 215 with only one week to go. His starting weight remains a matter of dispute between camps, though a conversation between teams led Paul (5-0, 4KOs) and his Most Valuable Promotions (MVP) company to inform Showtime that the show was canceled.
MVP since announced that the non-televised undercard fighters would receive 50 percent of their contracted pay, without commitment of having to appear on the rescheduled show. It was revealed that the three supporting bouts on the PPV— WBC/WBO/IBO featherweight titlist Amanda Serrano vs. Brenda Carabajal, Ashton Sylve vs. Braulio Rodriguez and Lee-Madera—would be rescheduled, with Lee-Madera the first one out the gate.
Lee (25-0, 22KOs) has emerged as one of the sport’s most promising prospects and a favorite among the Showtime brass. The 23-year-old from La Quinta, California rattled off 15 consecutive knockouts before going the distance in his last fight, a ten-round decision win over Brooklyn’s Zachary Ochoa on April 16 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The bout aired on Showtime and its YouTube channel preceding the Errol Spence-Yordenis Ugas four-fight Showtime PPV telecast, marking Lee’s first time fighting past the seventh round. It was also the first time that Lee has been forced to go to the scorecards since May 2018 in his ninth pro fight.
Madera (17-1-3, 10KOs) has won two straight since a stunning first-round knockout loss to Felix Verdejo in July 2020. His most recent win came last October 16 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Madera was credited with a fifth-round stoppage of Jamshidbek Najmitdinov, who was unable to continue after suffering an arm injury.
Lee-Madera is added to an already announced show that—in addition to the Broner-Figueroa main event—includes two title fights on the main telecast. Dominican Republic’s Alberto Puello (20-0, 10KOs) and Uzbekistan’s Batyr Akhmedov (9-1, 8KOs) collide for the vacant WBA junior welterweight title, while WBA junior lightweight titlist Roger Gutierrez (26-3-1, 20KOs) defends his belt against mandatory challenger Hector Luis Garcia (15-0, 10KOs).
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox