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The Cyber Boxing Zone Newswire
November 17, 2001
Rahman-Lewis II: What to Expect
By Chris Strait

I rarely do a pre-fight breakdown, but I have never been more up-in-the-air about the possibilities in a major title fight. I am one to always say anything could happen, but i rarely, if ever, shy away from a prediction. I keep going back and forth on this one though. If you are so sure you know who's winning the rematch between Hasim Rahman and Lennox Lewis, ponder these facts:

1) Both men have never been successfully outpointed.
Sure, Ray Mercer got close to Lennox, and Corrie Sanders was probably close to even against the Rock at the time he was stopped, but neither could finish the job. The punch outputs of their opponents usually drop considerably, including against each other. Their jabs are both very dangerous weapons, when used properly. This, plus power, is usually to blame for their opponent's obedience.

2) Both men have weak chins.
Fool me once, your fault. Fool me twice, my fault. Joey Maxim, Sandy Saddler, Marco Antonio Barerra, and a few others have been able to redeem their chins after being Stopped early in their careers, but Lewis and rahman have each been KO'd twice. Sure there was controvery surrounding the early stoppage/late punch in Rahman-Tua, as well as the early stoppage of Lewis against Oliver McCall. What there is no controversy about, however, is that both men were seriously wobbled by big punches in fights they were likely to be winning.

Then it happened again. To both of them! Maskaev's big right hand had "the Rock" sprawled out in the HBO crew's laps. And the loud thud of Lewis hitting the canvas flat on his back, echoed loud enough to shake the cameras. And true to both men's form, the knockouts took place in fights they looked to be on their way to winning.

3) Both are the perfect combination of determined warriors and intelligent, articulate gentlemen.
Who else will be talking of getting their engineering degree or running their health center one minute, then engage in a brawl on television the next? Boxers are known for this dichotomy often, but Lewis and rahman are the epidemy of this new fighter: big enough to do damage, smart enough to do it at the right time to maximize personal gain. There is a reason that Don King's smile is wider than ever. His job is easy with these two.

Therefore, one never knows which Rahman or Lewis will show up. A fight is exciting enough when one fighter has this switcher quality. When both men have it, anything can happen. All the talking/posturing these two are doing now, is hilarious when you think about it. Big punchers with intelligence, great jabs, weak chins, and an ability to box or slug. have you ever heard the phrase, "opposites attract"? If we can infer that the opposite of that statement is true, than no wonder these two can't see eye to eye... they are the same fighter! How do you pick amongst the same list of strengths and weaknesses?

As difficult as it may be, I will try. This is the year of the upset, but I don't see that coming this time. i was right about Hopkins, wrong about Tszyu, and wrong about Barrera. I'd like to finish at least even...and Hasim already pulled off the biggest upset of the year... I don't see him doing it a second time. Nothing would surprise me here, but I think in a longer fight (which I believe we are in for this time) the bigger man will wear down Rahman, and stop him late. I am basing this on the only main difference I can find in each man''s history:

"The Rock" gets stopped late. Lennox gets stopped early. Without the big bomb, it's Lewis in 11.
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