November 3, 1999
On Saturday, November 6, at the Atlantic City Convention Center, young
heavyweight contender Hasim Rahman (31-1, 26KOs) continues his search for a
shot at the world title. Rahman was well on his way toward doing so, until a
great injustice last year cost him dearly...
The date was December 11, when Rahman, in an IBF "Heavyweight-Championship,
Elimination" contest, fought young prospect in David Tua. The winner was
guaranteed the mandatory position, on behalf of the International Boxing
Federation to meet Evander Holyfield.
Rahman was well on his way toward winning the contest until the unthinkable
In the final moments of the tenth round, Tua, drastically behind on all three
judges' scorecards, caught Rahman with three vicious left hooks, with the
third and perhaps damaging one, occurring after the bell to end. Rahman,
noticeably wobbling across the ropes as he headed back to his corner, was not
rewarded with an extra few seconds to clear his woozy head. Nor did the
referee penalize or dock Tua a point for the foul.
Instead, the bout continued, and Tua, who backed Rahman immediately into the
ropes to start the eleventh, did not land a single punch with enough impact
to force a decisive stoppage. Nonetheless, Tua swung wildly at Rahman, who
did not counter.
The fight was then waived off.
Since then, Rahman has won his last two bouts by kayo, while maintaining a
No. 5 ranking from the International Boxing Federation.
Tua, meanwhile, is ranked No. 1, but will not see a world title shot anytime
soon. First Holyfield must defend both the IBF, along with the World Boxing
Association titles against WBC king, Lennox Lewis on November 13. Afterward,
the winner must meet WBA No. 1 man, Henry Akinwande.
In the meanwhile, a rematch between Rahman would be the only righteous and
logical move, since Tua earned his mandatory slot by way of controversy.
Rahman, promoted by Cedric Kushner Promotions, was offered a piece of Tua's
purse, as apart of a court settlement. Rahman was willing to accept HBO's
offer to meet Tua again in a rematch on HBO for more money.
Tua's people declined!
While Tua remains active, holding firmly to his No. 1 slot fighitng in
tune-up contests, Rahman will return to HBO and face Oleg Maskev on HBO's
"Boxing After Dark."
A rematch with Tua is far from likely to happen, but with Ike Ibeabuchi, Kirk
Johnson, and Michael Grant fighting Andrew Golota on November 20, a week
after Holyfield-Lewis II, a sounding win over Maskaev would increase Rahman
appeal and demand to see him against either one of the fighters listed.
Rahman, who turns 27 the night after his bout with Maskaev, would rather
prefer Tua than anything else.