25.07.06 - By Geoffrey Ciani: On August 12, WBC heavyweight champion, Hasim Rahman, will take on number one contender, Oleg Maskaev. This will be the second time these two pugilists square off. The first time was back in November of 1999, when Oleg landed a perfect right hand that literally sent Rahman through the ropes and out of the ring. Adding insult to injury, as Rahman crashed to the floor, he somehow managed to knock over a monitor on a nearby table that promptly landed on his balls. In the aftermath of their first bout, it appeared as if Maskaev’s career was on the rise and that Rahman was in decline. It wasn’t long, however, before that all changed.
Following subsequent victories over Sedreck Fields and Derrick Jefferson, Maskaev was widely regarded as the number three heavyweight on the planet. Only Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield were viewed as being his superior, but that changed very quickly in his very next fight when Maskaev was stopped by a sensational left hook from Kirk Johnson.
Being the warrior that he is, Maskaev tried to jump right back in the mix of things by challenging fellow-contender, Lance Whitikar. Unfortunately for Maskaev, he was still feeling the effects of the Johnson loss, and was stopped in two rounds.
Meanwhile, Rahman followed up with three consecutive victories that somehow or another landed him a championship bout with Lennox Lewis. He was lucky enough to take advantage of an unmotivated Lewis, who seemed more concerned with his acting career than his boxing career. Rahman would go on to beat Lewis in a shocking knockout victory. The celebration was short-lived, however, and Rahman would get knocked out against Lewis in the immediate rematch. That was November of 2001.
At that time, it appeared neither fighter would ever be a serious threat in the division. Rahman went on to suffer losses against Evander Holyfield and John Ruiz, plus he had a controversial draw in his rematch with David Tua. Maskaev was stopped by the unheralded Corey “T-Rex” Sanders (not to be confused with Corrie Sanders – the golfer who humiliated Wladimir Klitshcko). At that time, who’d have guessed that these two would be fighting for a portion of the heavyweight championship?
However, here we are, less than three weeks away from the WBC championship bout between Rahman and Maskaev. Though both of these fighters are well past their best, it should prove interesting none-the-less.
After his loss to Ruiz, Rahman won six in a row, including a victory over Kali Meehan for the interim WBC title. With the retirement of Doctor Ironfist, Vitali Klitschko, Rahman was awarded the belt. In his last bout, he got hosed in a controversial draw against James “Lights Out” Toney. Meanwhile, Maskaev has won his last ten bouts. In his most recent effort, he defeated Sinan Samil Sam in a title eliminator fight.
So, what will happen when these two square off for the first time in nearly seven years? Who the hell knows?! This is a tough one to pick. If there is one thing that’s been consistent about these two fighters, it’s that they’ve been consistently inconsistent throughout their entire careers. There is a history here, however, and there might well be some fireworks along the way. Should be an entertaining one while it lasts!
Article posted on 25.07.2006
To contact this author:
Please check out part II of the SUPER BABES THRILLOGY
on Seeking Madam Mushroom
Also, if you haven't seen part I, be sure to watch it by clicking below: