The WBA 'Regular' Heavyweight Title: Confusion ReignsWritten by Lee Cleveland
The politics of boxing seems to never subside.
Greg Cohen, promoter of WBA No. 1 ranked heavyweight challenger Hasim Rahman, insists his fighter is a contractual lock to fight WBA regular Champion Alexander Povetkin in February. But late last week, the teams for Povetkin and Marco Huck, the WBO Cruiserweight titlist, confirmed Povetkin vs Huck was a done deal.
The bout, as of this publish, will take place on February 25th in Stuttgart, Germany.
It's not known if Rahman and Greg Cohen have a valid argument but insider sources told FightSaga in August that Rahman was slated to meet the winner of Povetkin vs Chagaev. Following Povetkin's victory, Rahman became the WBA's top heavyweight contender and seemed on-track. However, following Povetkin's win over Chagaev, there was little mention of Rahman as a future Povetkin opponent. As a matter of fact, it was widely reported that Povetkin vs Holyfield was on the verge of being finalized before Povetkin's team surprisingly announced their man would be fighting Cedric Boswell instead.
But even Cedric Boswell, prior to fighting Povetkin, acknowledged Rahman's status as the WBA's mandatory heavyweight challenger. During his October interview with FightSaga, the Boz stated, "I'm not worried. I know he [Rahman] is the mandatory. I'll fight him in three months [after Povetkin] if I have to."
According to promoter Greg Cohen:
"Rahman is Povetkin's mandatory. Povetkin already had an optional defense against Cedric Boswell." asserted Cohen. "I have the letter from the WBA. Povetkin has until February 27 to fight against Rahman. The only way they could fight Marco Huck is if we stepped aside and we're not stepping aside."
Povetkin's manager, Vladimir Khryunov, responded by insisting Cohen ignored his calls for 10 days straight. Khryunov, according to Boxingscene, also described Cohen as "very strange."
Former lineal heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman told FightSaga yesterday:
"I don't care what Povetkin thinks.. All I know is I'm fighting for the WBA Heavyweight Championship in my next fight."
According to reports, the WBA has stepped in to supervise matters.
The 39 year old Hasim Rahman (50-7-2-1 NC, 41 KOs) began his professional career at age 22 and is a former unified, lineal world heavyweight champion. He earned that distinction in 2001 after a shocking one-punch knockout of Lennox Lewis in Round 5. Lewis regained his lineal status and title belts with an equally (if not more) impressive one punch knockout of Rahman in Round 4 of their rematch seven months later.
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.