Is Hasim Rahman Looking Too Far Ahead?

07.08.05 - By Geoff Mckay: A while back we were all treated to Hasim Rahman’s “Open Letter to Vitali Klitschko” in which he elaborated on his fighting prowess, his size, his power, and the inevitability of his victory over the current WBC Champion. This letter came on the heels of a Klitschko challenge to Lamon Brewster, which Rahman saw as a slap in the face seeing as he is the number one contender.

What I really found striking about his letter is that there was no mention of Monte Barrett anywhere, not even an acknowledgement that Rahman was going to fight him. This got me wondering about Rahman, and his clarity of mind. Is he starting to believe the things that the publicists are writing about him? If he is, he is wading out into shark infested waters, and may never return. Hasim Rahman really believes he can beat Vitali Klitschko, you can hear it in his interviews, and see it in the letters he has written for him.

He believes he is going to regain the title, he can taste it, and that vision is like a beautiful mirage in the desert. The illusion he sees on the horizon is such a wonderful one, that he has become oblivious to the real dangers immediately in his path. Now I do believe Rahman has a punchers chance of beating Klitschko, but I also think the odds are against it. More importantly, it is quite possible that he will never get the chance to realize his dream of becoming two time World Champion.

First of all, I am of the opinion that Hasim Rahman was never really that good. I think even in his prime he was a shade above a B-Class fighter. He had good power, and was a legitimate opponent. Now I realize that he owns a knockout win over Lennox Lewis, but my response to that is that we have seen lackluster performances from Lewis in the past, and, Rahman looked pretty horrible in the rematch, holding his hands out at arms length all night in a ridiculous attempt to keep Lewis at bay (by the way, he was losing to Lewis when he scored the knockout).

That being said, I believe Rahman is far past his prime. Believe it or not, I think one of his best performances was against Oleg Maskaev. He looked sharp, he moved well and hit quickly. On that night he was the victim of the lucky punch. Since then, we have seen a depleted version of Rahman, the once dangerous fighter. After reviewing his record, I wasn’t able to come up with an A caliber fighter, (other than the Lewis KO) that he has beaten, in fact, in his last four fights with top competition, he has lost three and drawn one. Boxing has been kind to the Rock, considering the treatment Wladimir Klitschko has received after three losses.

Barrett, on the other hand, is riding a wave of momentum. He suffered setbacks with losses to Wlad Klitschko, and Joe Mesi, but gained huge with a hard fought win over up and coming Dominick Guinn, and kept it going with a TKO victory over Owen “What the Heck” Beck. In fact, the only time Barrett looked really bad was when he was bounced off the canvas five times by a prime Klitschko. We have to keep in mind that he fought the Klitschko of old, and shares the distinction of looking horrible against Wlad with fighters like Chris Byrd, and Jameel McClain.

Although Rahman is coming off a “big win” over Kali Meehan, he is losing momentum. He is no longer the Rahman of old, he is simply old Rahman. Even in the Meehan fight, he looked slow, he didn’t capitalize when a younger, faster fighter would have. Even with this TKO victory, Rahman was unimpressive, and uninspiring. A KO loss by Rahman could here spell the end of his career. Add to this his always suspect chin and he is absolutely foolhardy to overlook Monte Barrett.

Prediction Monte Barrett, W12 Hasim Rahman

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Article posted on 08.08.2005

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