Hasim Rahman vs Alexander Povetkin | 'Rock' Looks to Shock the World AgainWritten by Lee Cleveland
On April 22, 2001, a 15 to 1 underdog named Hasim Rahman would shock the world by knocking out the dominant, universally-recognized heavyweight champion at the time, Lennox Lewis.
Rahman's knock-out victory on April 22, 2001 over Lennox Lewis was recognized as the RING Magazine Upset of the Year.
And while Lewis won the rematch, Rahman had already placed himself in boxing lore and among the sport's lineal heavyweight champions. For seven months, Hasim Rahman was the heir to the real and legitimate heavyweight championship lineage, proceeding greats such as Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson, Larry Holmes, Muhammad Ali and Rocky Marciano.
Today, Hasim Rahman (50-7-2-1NC, 41 KOs), the former lineal and two-time heavyweight champion, is apparently in the best shape he's been in for a very long time.
The 39 year old "Rock," having seemingly had an "intense" training camp, will face WBA Regular Heavyweight Champion Alexander Povetkin (24-0, 16 KOs) on September 29. The bout will take place at the Sporthalle in Hamburg, Germany and Rahman's promoter, Greg Cohen, is preparing fans for another upset.
"They've been basically writing Hasim off since the start of the promotion," said Greg Cohen of Greg Cohen Promotions, Rahman's promoter.
"Hasim isn't even on the posters for this event. They've been making jokes and having fun. But while they were doing that, Hasim has been getting himself into fantastic shape."
Will be Déjà vu all over again? After all, Rahman was a virtual after-thought prior to his first bout with Lennox Lewis.
"Hasim is going to shock the world again. This is the exact situation you don't put Rahman in. Disrespected. Overlooked. An over-confident champion thinking he can just show up and win. But in the gym with Hasim, and seeing how focused he is, you know something's about to happen."
"Hasim is completely healthy and ready to pull off the upset. I think at this stage of his career, it takes a big fight like this and an opponent and his people behaving this way to put him at peak motivation... and that's what he is. Hasim Rahman is 100% ready to shock the world."
Pictured: Hasim Rahman KOs Lennox Lewis in their first meeting in 2001
In 2005, the WBC designated Hasim Rahman as the mandatory challenger for then-WBC Heavyweight Champion Vitali Klitschko but following several Klitschko postponements, Vitali retired and the WBC awarded its heavyweight championship to Rahman. However, the American wouldn't keep the title long, losing it the following year to Oleg Maskaev.
After losing to Wladimir Klitschko in December 2008, Rahman took a 15 month hiatus before staging what may be his last run at a major heavyweight title.
Since March 2010, Hasim Rahman is 5-0, winning all of his bouts by knockout:
- Clinton Boldridge, KO 1
- Shannon Miller, TKO 4
- Damon Reed, KO 6
- Marcus McGee, KO 1
- Galen Brown, TKO 6
Previously an enforcer for drug dealers, Rahman has allegedly survived several shootings and nearly died in a car accident which left him with permanent scar on his cheek and ear. He started boxing at 20 and had just 10 amateur bouts before making his pro debut on December 3, 1994, at age 22.
Hasim Rahman (50-7-2-1 NC, 41 KO) | Most Significant Bouts
- (Loss) TKO 7 by Wladimir Klitschko - 2008
- (Loss) TKO 12 Oleg Maskaev - 2006
- Draw 12 James Toney - 2006
- TKO 4 Kali Meehan - 2004
- (Loss) UD 12 John Ruiz
- Draw 12 David Tua - 2003
- (Loss) TD 8 Evander Holyfield - 2002
- (Loss) KO 4 Lennox Lewis - 2001
- KO 5 Lennox Lewis - 2001
- TKO 7 Corrie Sanders - 2000
- (Loss) KO 8 Oleg Maskaev - 1999
- (Loss) TKO 10 David Tua - 1998
- UD10 Jesse Ferguson - 1998
- MD 10 Obed Sullivan- 1997
- UD 10 Trevor Berbick - 1996
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.