Is Toney Already Looking Past Rahman?

15.02.06 - By Elias Navarro: The fight between Hasim Rahman and James Toney (69-4-2, 43 KOs) is fast approaching, set for March 18, yet the outcome for this bout seems almost academic at this point, if youíve been following the latest news around. Strange as it may seem, itís as if Hasim Rahman, who is the younger, stronger and larger man, is going to be schooled by the 37-year-old Toney, if you were to believe all the hype being strewn about.. I donít know about you people, but from the way I see things, Toney doesnít have a ghost of a chance against Rahman, mostly due to the long reach of 82,Ē which is 6 inches longer than Toneyís limited reach. However, it isnít the height factor alone that will be the biggest issue for Toney; the main problem is the reach disadvantage, since it will be almost impossible for Toney to get inside the range of Rahman without catching something really big on the way in.

For Toney, it will be a case of biting off a little too much for him to chew, for he has never been in with a fighter even remotely as big and as powerful as Rahman (41-5-1, 33 KOs) and I fear that heís going to find that out as soon as he gets hit with the first bone crushing right hand in the opening moments of the 1st round.

Strange as it may seem, Rahman is probably the best heavyweight in the division right now, bar none. Thatís not to say that he has the best skills, because I personally feel that Wladimir Klitschko is the best in that department. However, what makes Rahman so good is his tremendous heart, including his ability to take huge shots without going down and then to come back with his own artillery. To beat him, youíve got to have a ton of power and you have to have the desire to trade with him because heíll test his opponentís chin at some point in the match. I like Toneyís boxing ability; however, he canít trade shots with a huge puncher like Rahman, which is what he will have to do if he wants to get out of this fight in one piece. No, he really has one chance, and that is to run and stay on the outside as much as possible, avoiding contact until late in the fight, hoping to tire Rahman out. However, that strategy will come up empty, as Rahman has excellent stamina and carries his power to the very end of the fight.

Toney, as of late, doesnít even appear concerned with his upcoming bout with Rahman, as if heís already looking past him, while mentioning Lennox Lewis as a desired future opponent, according to the latest rumor mill. There are people, perhaps a lot of them that would like nothing better to see Toney get punched around the ring by Lewis, even a 40-year old, rusty version. However, the chance of this fight ever coming true, is next to impossible, since Lewis would likely not want to step back into the ring and tarnish his reputation fighting someone as small as Toney, a fighter that it not exactly a true heavyweight in the classic mode. Nevertheless, I would really love to see this fight coming off it were possible, although I donít give Toney even the slightest hope in getting past the 6th round before running into one of Lewisí tremendous right hand bombs. To be honest, Toney could bob and weave as much as he wants, yet he would eventually get hit with a shot from Lewis and would end up stretched out on the canvas. No, if I were Toney, I would focus entirely on Rahman, as this could end up to be a short, brutal fight, leaving Toney wondering what happened to him as he picks himself up from the canvas after having been starched by a big right hand.

Article posted on 15.02.2006

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