NEW YORK – Jake Paul couldn’t believe what Hasim Rahman Jr.’s father said Tuesday about his upcoming opponent.

The younger Rahman reminded Paul that the former heavyweight champion’s blunt assessment of his son’s career wasn’t anything he hadn’t heard before his father criticized him during their press conference at Madison Square Garden. Nevertheless, Paul and others in attendance seemed surprised to hear Rahman’s harsh criticism of a career in which his son has gone 12-1, including six knockouts, in 13 heavyweight fights.

“Flat out, I’m gonna give you the honest answer,” the elder Rahman said. “I don’t know if my son gonna like it, but I’m just gonna tell the truth because that’s what I do. My son has really underperformed and underprepared for pretty much all of his fights. But he will be ready for this one.”

The 31-year-old Rahman beat a largely low level of opposition before he lost his last fight by fifth-round technical knockout to James McKenzie Morrison (20-0-2, 18 KOs), a son of late WBO heavyweight champion Tommy Morrison, on April 29 at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. The Baltimore native won the first four rounds on all three scorecards that night before McKenzie Morrison dropped him with a right-left combination in the fifth round.

Rahman beat referee Robert Hoyle’s count, but Hoyle halted the action after McKenzie Morrison drilled him with a right uppercut while Rahman was backed against the ropes. Still on his feet, Rahman vehemently protested the stoppage.

Paul will face an active professional boxer for the first time when they meet in an eight-round cruiserweight contest that’ll headline a Showtime Pay-Per-View event August 6 at The Garden.

Motivated by the highest-profile fight of his five-year pro career, Rahman seemingly agreed with his father’s critique of how he has trained and fought since he ended his amateur career.

“I think that the potential that’s inside me has not been reached yet, so yeah, I agree,” Rahman Jr. said. “I think that I can definitely have performed better in all my fights. So, on August 6th, we’re gonna come fully prepared and ready to go.”

Paul promptly mocked Rahman Jr. for being more sensitive to his father’s comments than he let on.

“What are you talkin’ about?,” the younger Rahman replied to Paul. “He just told you he gonna tell the truth. This ain’t nothin’ he ain’t said to me before. What are you talkin’ about?”

Handicappers have installed Paul (5-0, 4 KOs) as more than a 2-1 favorite to beat Rahman in their Showtime Pay-Per-View main event.

Rahman has fought exclusively as a heavyweight since he turned pro early in 2017, but he’ll have to get down to the cruiserweight limit of 200 pounds the day before he opposes Paul. There is also a rehydration clause in Rahman’s contract that will prohibit him from coming in above 215 pounds at their second-day weigh-in the morning of their bout, but he can add as much weight as he wants after he weighs in a second time with the New York State Athletic Commission.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.