In Boxing News: Rahman-Toney on HBO Saturday night heating up

David Avila, TSS’s man on the west coast, visits the campus of the University of James Toney. Inside Hollywood’s Wild Card Gym, Toney bellows out commands: Shut up and watch. School is definitely in session.

Lem Satterfield at the Baltimore Sun gives us a sympathetic portrait of Baltimore native Hasim Rahman. He looks at Rock’s turbulent career with the aid of hindsight and without rose-colored glasses, and tells us that Bob Arum joins Rahman’s fight. Hasim Rahman is eminently promotable, said Top Rank’s CEO. And if he does his part, he ain’t walking down any street without people knowing who he is. He has a great personality. He can be a major sports star, and I believe he will. Rahman reportedly stands to make $1.5 million against Toney, which has led to a rebirth in his enthusiasm and the downsizing of his entourage. My whole team has had a makeover, Rahman said. Let’s be honest, countered Freddie Roach in The Las Vegas Review Journal. He’s looked good one fight in his life. He knocked out Lennox Lewis. What has he done since? Who has he beaten? He’s lost to all of them. Ron Borges of the Boston Globe reports that James Toney is not only swelling from food, he weighed 251 last week, he is also swelling with confidence. I know how to fight. If you’re bigger and badder than me, let me see. Prove it to me. Fight me. I beat Evander Holyfield, right? Knocked him out. Now, a year earlier, he was beating up Hasim Rahman. Everybody in the Baltimore area knows I’m a real fighter and they know Rahman ain’t. Rick Folstad, our fight guy down on mainland Cuba, calls for a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T for James “Lights Out” Toney. He’s like the schoolyard bully who struts around the playground puffing out his chest and bragging about how bad he is, writes Folstad. You figure he’s all talk until he fattens your lip. At 5-foot-9 Toney’s kinda short for a heavyweight, but Mike Tyson was a short guy too, and he did okay. I love beating bigger heavyweights up, Toney confessed. I feel like I’m walking through a buffet ¦ The Times Herald-Record reports that Lou Savarese will unretire and begin his third comeback Saturday on the undercard of a Shannon Briggs show in Fort Smith, Ark. Savarese was great playing the heavy in The Sopranos. He should stick with that. Obviously I’m not doing it for the money, Savarese said his purse is $2,500 It’s hard for people to be inside myself. Truer words were never spoken ¦ The London Free Press, in honor of Dave Kindred‘s recently-released Sound and Fury (Simon & Schuster, $37), revisits the curious relationship between Muhammad Ali and Howard Cosell. The men had shared objectives Cosell was Boswell to Ali’s Johnson but they were as different as night and day: white/black, Jew/Muslim, ugly/handsome, toupee/hair. Cosell could be an impressive journalist, but he was an easy man to dislike. I have tried to like Howard, wrote legendary New York sports columnist Red Smith. I have failed.