Back in the old days fighters fought, a lot. These days’ fighters train, talk, fight, talk and then hibernate for a few months until they talk, train, talk and then fight again. Every now and then they make movies or come out with CD’s in their spare time, yet none have done very well at it. Fortunately for us Hasim ‘The Rock’ Rahman simply doesn’t have any spare time these days, he just doesn’t come across as a singer. While he may never be confused as a throwback fighter, one thing that can’t be disputed is this -- The Rock is busy. Wednesday night -- that’s right, a fight on Wednesday night -- Rahman rolled once more as he disposed of fringe fighting foe Terrance Lewis.
The new management team behind Rahman has cracked the case on how to keep Hasim focused, and that is to not let his mind and belly wander. By continually fighting and therefore being fighting fit, Rahman has kept his weight under control and his bank account stuffed. Fighting on the ‘B’ circuit keeps the bills paid, the wins coming, the weight down and his ranking up.
Wednesday night Rahman utilized what is the best jab in the division, when he puts it to work, and destroyed Terrance Lewis. The Rock opened the fight with Lewis by backing up his opponent behind the left jab and then let the combinations flow off of it. It is a time-tested recipe for success, yet one that is often forgotten. In this case Rahman never had much time to forget. After hurting Lewis to close the opening round, Rahman came out for the second and hammered Lewis to the face with the jab. Lewis dropped to his knees, blood pouring out of his freshly broken nose, and the end of the fight was signaled at the count of ten.
The end marked Rahman’s fourth straight win and concluded his fourth bout through the first seven months of 2004. He is on pace to fight 7-8 times this year and is prepared to step up against anyone willing to say “yes.” At 31 years of age and a suspect list of contenders ahead of him Rahman has everything to gain and nothing to lose. If Andrew Golota and Oleg Maskaev can make it back into the thick of the heavyweight action then why not The Rock?
Golota re-appeared on the heavyweight scene with an impressive showing against IBF champion Chris Byrd – a fight that many feel Golota won and was unfortunate to leave the ring with a Draw. ‘The Punching Pole’ is rumored to be stepping right back in the title hunt with a pending date against WBA gatekeeper John Ruiz. Oleg Maskaev had a make-or-break fight last weekend and handed David Defiagbon his first ‘O’. That put the ‘Big O’ Maskaev back in the picture as he has now run his record to 7-0 since losing to the ‘other’ Corey Sanders in 2002.
A brutal two-year hangover after winning the heavyweight title from Lennox Lewis left Hasim Rahman without a single victory in four fights. That all changed this year and Team Rahman hasn’t looked back. Back-to-back-to-back second round knockout wins over Terrance Lewis, Rob Calloway and Mario Cawley have been good for the ego and better for the belly. In each of his past three bouts Rahman has tipped the scales lighter than the fight before. For the Lewis bout he weighed 246 – for the Cawley bout in April he had tipped the scales at 257 pounds. Staying active seems to be working in more ways than one.
After disposing of Lewis, Hasim Rahman declared he was “hungry” and “willing to fight anywhere, anytime, anyhow.” For a change Rahman wasn’t talking about food.
Off another impressive outing The Rock looks set to serve up a steady diet of power jabs and heavy rights to any heavyweight hungry for a challenge.
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?