Maskaev vs Rahman: Can Oleg Win?

04.08.06 - By Jim Amato: My opinion on this fight is that Oleg really didn't deserve this shot, simply because I personally feel that there are more deserving heavyweights out there. Maskaev has a 32-5 record with with 25 KO's. However, one of those wins were against Rahman, in 1999. In that fight, Oleg knocked Hasim clear out of the ring, after connecting with brutal right hand shot. Very impressive, no doubt. For his part, Oleg had previously suffered knockout losses to Oliver McCall and David Tua before he halted Rahman.

After Oleg's victory over Rahman, he stopped by Kirk Johnson, Lance Whitaker and a 312 pound Corey Sanders.

However, Oleg has won ten straight since his last loss, eight by knockout. To me, though, the quality of opposition has not been first rate. He won a WBC "eliminator" over Sinan Samil Sam his last time out.

Maybe Rahman wanted this fight to avenge his earlier defeat. I do not begrudge him that. Revenge is a very motivating emotion. I just didn't care for the way the WBC set this up and forced on the public. I am having trouble getting excited about this fight. Surely, Maskaev has a puncher's chance. Who knows, maybe he just has Rahman's number. We'll see.

I think Rahman will emerge with the victory. Now if we could only clean up the politics in boxing, so undeserving challengers are not awarded mandatory title shots.

Article posted on 05.08.2006

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