Hasim Rahman Stops Zuri Lawrence but Zuri Gains Respect

hasim rahman16.11.07 - By Ted Sares: Zuri Lawrence won my respect tonight. Yes, the same Zuri Lawrence who almost got decapitated by Calvin Brock last year and was then blown away by Dominic Guinn in two rounds. Here is a guy with a 23-12 record who is a feather fisted slapper and has never stopped a professional opponent. Here is a guy with a porcelain chin who took tonightís fight in Reading, Pennsylvania with Hasim Rahman for the NABF heavyweight title on short notice and had no time to prepare. In his first seven professional fights, his record was 1-2 -3-1. It was not very promising start, though he did dominat Jameel McCline in 2005 winning a UD.

Who would have guessed it would beyond first round let alone into the tenth? As it turned out, Zuri was stopped (but still on his feet) with seconds to go in the tenth and was even leading on one of the cards 88-84.

Even more remarkable, he was knocked out of the ring in the mid-rounds, hit a chair hard and still managed to get back in and fight competitively until the end of the round as the crowd roared its approval for his courage.

The fight was close until the stoppage (which was a good one by Referee Gary Rosato) as Lawrence fought in spurs displaying suprior technical skills, great hand speed and fast combos. The Rock, however, was able to bully him onto the loose ropes where he could do his best work with superior strength. He also threw more punches, albeit ponderous ones until the tenth round when some clean rights finally did the trick.

Rahmanís face looked like it had gone through a meat grinder at the end and even he gave props to Lawrence during the post-fight interview admitting he underestimated him.

The right hand happy Rock, now 46-6-2, may be coming to the end. While in good physical shape, he needs to go back to the drawing board and come up with a more varied attack and better use of his once vaunted jab or his days will be over forthwith.

Zuri Lawrence most likely will never fight for a world championship, but he showed a championís heart tonight and in so doing, won my full respect.

Article posted on 16.11.2007

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