By James Slater: Hasim Rahman, the former heavyweight champion who is still best known the world over for sensationally upsetting all-time great Lennox Lewis via 5th-round KO, fights again this Saturday night. Looking to stay busy in the hopes of landing one last title shot,” Rock,” now aged 37 and with a good 48-7-2(39) record, will face journeyman Marcus McGee in an eight-rounder at the Roberto Duran Arena in Panama (the card topped by the WBA cruiserweight defence by Guillermo Jones, who FINALLY returns to action, against Valery Brudov).
Rahman has won three fights on the spin since heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko made his head spin in December 2008. “Rock” has seen off so-so opposition, Clinton Boldridge (so-so at best!), Shannon Miller and, last time out, in August, Damon Reed. Rahman proved in those wins that he can still bang, especially with his right hand, but he proved little else. Hoping for one last title shot is one thing, but seeing as how Rahman was so easily dismantled by Wladimir Klitschko, who really wants to see Rahman go in with either Klitschko brother this or next year?
A fight against WBA champ David Haye could possibly happen, but Haye would get criticised for taking such a fight (then again, Haye is being, and has been criticised for facing Audley Harrison next, and he doesn’t seem to mind. And Rahman remains a recognisable name, so who knows?).
One thing is certain, Marcus McGee, 22-17(11) won’t ruin Rahman’s dreams of landing another crack at the title. The 39-year-old is as tough and as game as any other journeyman out there earning a few bucks in the heavyweight division – having been in with punchers like Odlanier Solis, Sam Peter and Shannon Briggs as he has, McGee has shown his bravery. But never has the man from Alabama won over a big name. The Briggs fight, his most recent outing, wasn’t actually a loss for McGee, though.
Back in December of last year, the veteran went down and out inside a round against “The Cannon,” only for the result to be changed from a KO win for Briggs to a NC, due to Briggs having taken an illegal substance of some sort. Since then, McGee has been inactive, and this is another one of the cards stacked against him going into the bout Vs. Rahman. In all honestly, unless Rahman has a serious off night or wants to get some rounds in, this Saturday’s supporting bout will do well to last more than a couple of rounds.
Some fans give Rahman credit for hanging around and for keeping busy. Others wish he would either face a fellow has-been in a “win or retire for good” fight, or they wish he would just retire right now. Those who are interested in seeing the man who reigned as heavyweight champion in 2001 and again from 2005 to 2006, will tune in to see what happens against McGee on Saturday.
I pick Rahman to get a quick, proves-nothing win, after less than six minutes work.