Interview: Hasim Rahman: "Lewis
is underestimating me again, I'll knock him out
By Ike Enwereuzor
- WBC/IBF/IBO heavyweight champion Hasim "the
Rock" Rahman (Photos: AP) of Baltimore, MD
now (35-2) 29KO's one of today's most talented heavyweight
champion is currently preparing at Big Bear, California
for his rematch against former heavyweight champ,
Lennox Lewis (38-2-1) 29KO's on November 17, at
Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas.
Rahman began his boxing career at
the age of 20, he only had 10 amateur fights before
making his professional debut on December 3, 1994
by knocking out Gregory Herrington in round one.
Rahman went from a low level heavyweight
contender to a top ten contender then a world champion
with his fifth round knockout of Lennox Lewis on
April 21, in Johannesburg, South Africa. His KO
over Lewis did more than crowning a new heavyweight
king but perhaps derailed the most lucrative superfight
between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson.
The WBC/IBF heavyweight champion
signed with Don King in May this year and opted
to fight David Izon in China on August 4, leading
Lewis to file a lawsuit. Lewis won his bid for a
rematch but If Rahman beats him again on November
17, Rahman wants a megafight with former undisputed
heavyweight champion "Iron" Mike Tyson
next to prove himself in the heavyweight division.
Rahman had losses to David Tua and
Oleg Maskeav. Here's what the heavyweight
champion had to say....
"I feel that I can do it again,
Rahman said. "He's underestimating me again,
I'll knock him out again."
How is preparation going for
your fight against Lennox Lewis at mandalay Bay
Casino in Las Vegas?
I'm doing fine. We're ready to go.
How long have you been training
for this fight?
I'll say about 5 weeks.
You started training in Upsate
New York. Why did you move to Big Bear now?
I like the Attitude here. I was there in New York
for 2 weeks but I came over here (Big Bear) because
to the west coast timing too. I like training over
Your impression of Lennox Lewis?
He's a great champion and excellent fighter.
your prediction for this second clash with him?
I'm confident, I'll knock him out again.
Any round in mind?
No, but I know it can be anytime. I have no round
in mind specifically but it has to be before round
12. Don't go to the bathroom, it could end any minute.
What did you learn from your first meeting with
I learn that I could beat Lewis and knock him out.
Who do you like for Tzsyu-Judah
I like Zab Judah by stoppage around 8 or 9th round.
Your thoughts on Hopkins-Trinidad
Hopkins fought an excellent fight. He excuted his
game plan. The better man won that night.
What do you want to tell your
I want them to know that I'm working very hard here.
They shouldn't miss this fight either be there or
check it out on TV. If you're coming to the fight
don't be late or don't leave to go get pop corn
because it can end any second.
What do you want to say to those
who thinks you have no chance against Lewis and
that your first win was just a "lucky punch"?
I don't worry about them, they have no credibility
and that's what they said before. What do they know?
What's next for you if you pass
After Lennox Lewis, I want Mike Tyson next.
What did you think of Tyson-Nelsen
Tyson looked good to me. He was in shape. He did
what he had to do to win.
Thank you very much for your
time Champ. Best of lucks to you!
You got it.
Photo: Ike Enwereuzor, Hasim Rahman
and Fans - Photo by Ruth DiTucci
Send comments or
questions to: Jacboxing@hotmail.com
Hasim Rahman Bench Presses 500
Pounds in Training for World Heavyweight Title Rematch
Rocks Pre-Training Camp
In between fights, Rahman has always worked with
weights. To prepare for the rematch, the team is
utilizing the same plan that got them the titles
on April 22, only with an even greater intensity.
Rock started his training regiment pumping iron,
heavily. Rock has said time-and-time again that
he will come in stronger for this fight and now
bench presses over 500 pounds.
Following the four-city, coast-to-coast
media tour with former champion Lennox Lewis and
promoter Don King from Aug. 28 - 31, Rahman set
up camp. The WBC, IBF & IBO heavyweight champion
returned to the fabled House of
Champions. This training facility, located
in the Catskill Mts. of Kingston, NY is headquartered
at the home of manager Stan Hoffman.
Rocks Training Camp Location
For the April 22 bout, The Rock left
House of Champions 30 days prior to
the fight to get acclimated to the high altitude
in South Africa. House of Champions
has an elevation of 4,000 feet and in South Africa,
he trained at
6,300 feet, the same level as the fight.
Team Rahman felt that it was so
advantageous using high-altitude training, they
decided to take it to a new level for
Nov. 17. After starting in the Catskills (4,000
feet), then moved to Big Bear, Calif., on Oct. 6
Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas is only
2,000 feet above sea level. We left a little
earlier for that fight (the April bout). The movement
in altitude works wonders when going down at the
end, explains co-manager Steve Nelson. But
then again, Lewis didnt think the altitude
had an effect on him. (Lewis trained in Las
Vegas before the April 22 bout. For this fight,
his training camp is at 2650 feet in the Poconos
in Scotrun, Pa.)
In Big Bear, the champ has secluded
himself in a private residence to prepare for the
biggest fight againof his career. Rahman's
managers, Stan Hoffman and Steve Nelson, rented
three separate homes for Rahman and his entourage.
Rahman, along with trainers Adrian Davis and Scott
"Duke" Buchanan, father John Cason, brother
Ibn Cason, personal cook Shamsondin, and camp aid
Melvin "Winky" Walker, are staying in
a beautiful six-bedroom home, located in the same
Big Bear neighborhood where Oscar de la Hoya and
Fernando Vargas maintain private residences.
Hoffman and Nelson, who will remain
with Rahman throughout the entire training camp,
share a smaller home about two miles from the champ
with Rahman stable-mate William Joppy, who arrived
in Big Bear last weekend. In the third house, just
around the corner from the champ, are his sparring
partners, which include David Bostice, Cisse Salif
and Darryl Williamson.
A life-long Muslim, Rahman includes
prayer in his daily routine. It is the first thing
he does upon waking in the morning and one of the
last things he does at night. Prayer is scheduled
six times a day and takes place throughout the morning,
afternoon and early evening.
5:30 a.m. Gets up.
5:45 a.m. Roadwork (varies from 3-6 miles in high
6:30 a.m. Returns to the house, showers, eats breakfast
11:00 a.m. Wakes up and prepares for workout.
12:15 p.m. Departs for Big Bear Health and Fitness
12:30 p.m. Training begins. Daily training sessions
vary between sparring, pad work, bag work weights
3:00 p.m. Departs gym and returns home
3:30 p.m. Relaxes and watches tapes
4:00 p.m. Dinner is served and is enjoyed by all
housemates around two tables in the kitchen/dining
5:00 p.m. Day is over, free time.
For the 5:45 a.m. run, a caravan
consisting of a car (with 4 people) and 2 bicycles
rides alongside Rahman to keep him company,
said Nelson. They run mostly on the road, but take
different paths and start from different locations.
Sometime the route takes them around the lake (at
the 7,000-foot level) and other times into the mountains
(at an even higher altitude). Everything at the
training camp is designed for diversity.
As he was for the April 22 bout,
Rahman is very confident going into the rematch.
I am stronger, said the heavyweight
champion. I will out-jab him and come up with
the big punch again. I did not fear Lennox Lewis
in April, and I most definitely will not fear him
on Nov. 17.