Rahman Gets Knockout, But Does Little To Turn Heads

15.11.07 - By Brett Mauren: Hasim Rahmanís rejuvenated physique would prove not to be a foreshadow Thursday night after all. The Wobbly Rahman was forced to put forth one of his careerís most intense efforts just to narrowly survive his battle of endurance with replacement opponent Zuri Lawrence..

Rahman was able to wither sporadic combinations by the quicker handed, and much longer Lawrence, and used his mass to bowl into Lawrence leading with constant overhand rights for most of the night. Rahmanís conditioning was an apparent factor yet again as his punches seemed to lose their zip very early, forcing the former champ to resort to simple clubbing for most of the ten rounds. Lawrence wouldnít be mistaken for an endurance runner either as he would seemingly put forth a strong effort for a round, then take the next round off by falling back into the ropes, where he would meet Rahmanís occasional barrage of body shots and wild right hands.

Rahman was finally able to make a staggering connection in the end of the sixth knocking Lawrence out of the ring. While The former champís corner seemed to think that Lawrence was knocked back into obscurity the Sovereign center would give Lawrence an ovation as he climbed back into the ring beating the 20 count and living to see round 7.

Lawrence again came out strong in round 7 and leading up to round 10 the Versus audience had voted it split through nine rounds. The scorecards were a major concern in the corner of Rahman as they pleaded for him to sell out for the knockout. The later rounds seemed to provide some shades of a familiar place for Rahman, looking exhausted, and physically battered. With cuts over both of his eyes Rahman was able to connect again with the right hand stunning Lawence and dropping his hands to his sides prompting referee Gary Rusato to halt the action before any more damage could be done.

Despite Rahmanís rough conditioning he was able to throw 800 punches over ten rounds, which serves as an upgrade over his victory against Taurus Sykes. While the rock was able to throw a solid amount of shots landed around 40% very few of the punches seemed to be top ten material. It would appear to be quite bleak that Rahman has been convincing enough to nab a shot at a third title, one would definitely have to appreciate Rahmanís persistence through a frusterating ten rounds and ability to inflict constructive self-criticism in the post fight interview. Rahman was undoubtedly able to present the maturity of a 2 time champion of the world.

Article posted on 16.11.2007

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