You may have seen a post of mine up here for like a minute this afternoon. Get used to it because I’m sure that will be quite a common occurrence with me. I’ll have to start announcing set times I plan to post so you can be at Fightlinker to see it before the complaints come in.
But anyway, the non-controversial story I am allowed to write about features Baltimore’s own Hasim Rahman looking into leaving the world of boxing (kinda) for the world of MMA. Now, I know a good amount of MMA fans don’t know or care about boxing, since while some of us were always watching real competition, even more MMA fans were watching gay shit like “>this so I’ll give you a little background on Rahman. (Don’t deny it, we can sniff out you pro wrestling fans like bloodhounds.)
Rahman is a former Heavyweight champion, yes. But don’t let that impress you. The guy was never on anyone’s list of great heavyweight boxers, but he strung together enough wins to get a title shot against Lennox Lewis on April 22nd, 2001 in South Africa. No, it wasn’t the 21st century Rumble In The Jungle. Far from it. Actually, Rahman won because he got to Africa early.
You see, at the same time Lennox Lewis was filming a cameo in Oceans 11, that shitty George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts movie about Las Vegas bank robbers. He was having fun being in Hollywood and Vegas, taking Rahman so lightly as an opponent he was barely training and coming in much heavier than usual. But Rahman was smart enough to know a little thing called jet lag could be a real killer, so he made sure his body was used to the time change and it paid off huge for him. He defeated Lewis in the biggest heavyweight boxing upset since Mike Tyson was knocked out by Buster Douglas. He was a 20 to 1 underdog scoring a shocking 5th round KO. His reign lasted only a matter of months … after Lewis sued Rahman’s promoter Don King for not living up to the immediate rematch clause in the original contract, he took the title back on November 17th, 2001.
After that he took some time off until 2003 where he went back to being the boxer he really was. He couldn’t get it done against the mediocre David Tua, getting a draw against the fighter who beat him in 1998 due to an illegal punch that wasn’t called. The truly awful John Ruiz also kicked his ass in a fight Rahman was greatly favored. He stepped back, fighting nobodies for a year before knocking out Kali Meehan to be declared the #1 contender again. You can just see how stacked the heavyweight division was in 2004, can’t you? I think my uncle Will was ranked #10 at one point that year and he doesn’t even box.
But this began one of the biggest follies in boxing this decade. One of the events MMA fans can point to smugly and rightfully say it’s one of the reasons boxing is being destroyed by MMA in America. Champion Vitali Klitschko was ordered to face him in spring/summer 2005, but out of nowhere claims his thigh hurts too bad to fight. So they reschedule the fight for June and everything looks good until at the last minute that punk ass Vitali said he changed his mind and his thigh still hurt. Okay, he gets one more month for his boo-boo to heal and suddenly he doctor announces Vitali can’t fight until he gets “corrective back surgery”. So then in November, when the fight is about to happen again, Vitali says he hurt his knee in training and has to pull out. If this was the UFC Dana would have shot Vitali with an uzi by now, but the WBC simply voted to award Rahman their title and Vitali temporarily retired.
So as you can see, you can’t blame the guy for wanting to get the hell out of the sport of boxing. But we have another problem with this story. According to his manager in an interview with Sherdog, Hasim’s MMA idol is…..Kimbo Slice. Yes, apparently Rahman saw one of Kimbo’s CBS fights and announced to his camp “I’d like to fight some of those guys.” And according to Gelke “one of those guys” includes (wait for it) BUTTERBEAN! Yes, an “MMA” superfight between Hasim Rahman and BUTTERBEAN. And people are calling Sylvia vs. Mercer an epic disaster waiting to happen. I’d rather get a handjob from Freddy Kruger than watch either of these fights, but at least you can point to the hilarity of Tim Sylvia getting KOed by a old ass boxer as a redeeming value.
But it gets worse. Not only has Rahman told everybody he doesn’t plan on leaving boxing entirely, he’s not even bothering to get his first MMA training lessons until he has a fight lined up. He admittedly has zero grappling experience, hasn’t thrown a kick since his days as a gangsta in Baltimore and is calling Kimbo his idol for getting in the game. But the sad thing is you know some stupid start up company is going to get swindled into paying him way more than he deserves for his first disasterous performance since he has a “name”. It’s what happens when wannabe MMA promoters are stupider than a lot of the fans. What happened to the good old days like in boxing when con artists were smart?