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winner of chagaev vs povetkin has 90 days to defend vs rahman
On August 27, undefeated 2004 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist Alexander Povetkin will square off against former WBA heavyweight Ruslan Chagaev for the vacant (regular) WBA heavyweight title.
According to insider sources, the winner of this fight will have 90 days to defend their new WBA heavyweight title against a former two-time heavyweight champion who was also a "lineal" champion. He will always have significance because, as opposed to most titleholders, he's "the man who beat the man" and is part of the same championship lineage as Jack Johnson, Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson.
Nicknamed "The Rock", Hasim Rahman (50-7-2-1 NC, 41 KOs) began his professional career at age 22 and is a former WBC, IBF, and IBO world heavyweight champion. He won the titles in 2001 after a shocking one-punch knockout of Lennox Lewis in Round 5. Lewis regained his titles in their rematch seven months later.
In 2005, the WBC designated Rahman as Vitali Klitschko's next mandatory challenger - the fight was set for April 30. Following several postponements, Vitali retired and the WBC voted to award its heavyweight championship to Rahman, making him a two time heavyweight champion. He lost the title the following year to Oleg Maskaev.
After losing to Wladimir Klitschko in December 2008, Rahman would take a 15 month hiatus before staging one last run at a major heavyweight title. Since March 2010, the Rock is 5-0, 5 KOs and has beaten:
Clinton Boldridge, KO 1
Shannon Miller, TKO 4
Damon Reed, KO 6
Marcus McGee, KO 1
Galen Brown, TKO 6
Hasim, 38, possesses a powerful jab, potent right hand and a reach that spans 82-84". He has excellent timing and is very aggressive in attacking with his power punches. The Rock also knows when to turn on the heat on his opponents and is known to be a good finisher. Rahman, because of his power and long reach, is a threat to anyone in the heavyweight division and dangerous at all times. Regardless of who's winning on the scorecards, a fighter like Rahman is always in the fight.
Rahman vs Povetkin
Alexander Povetkin (21-0, 15 KOs), of Russia, is currently the WBA's No. 2 world-rated heavyweight contender. He's a former Olympic gold medalist and perhaps one of the most accomplished amateur boxers ever. His professional boxing resume includes a knockout victory over former two-time heavyweight champion Chris Byrd, and unanimous decision victories over one-time heavyweight title challenger Eddie Chambers and former U.S. Olympians Jason Estrada and Larry Donald. Povetkin has won three of his last four bouts by knockout.
If Rahman fights Povetkin, he must discombobulate the highly skilled Russian. Povetkin will attempt to fight at angles and use decent hand-speed at close quarters to punish Rahman with combinations. The Rock's jab will have to work overtime as the former champion should attempt to keep Povetkin off rhythm and at long range and force Povetkin to be on the defensive most of the fight. If Rahman can unload his big right-hand and hurt Povetkin early, he has a chance to knock the Russian off his gameplan.
Rahman vs Chagaev
Ruslan Chagaev (27-1-1, 17 KOs), a native of Ukraine who fights out of Berlin, Germany, captured the WBA heavyweight title when he dethroned 7-foot tall defending champion Nikolai Valuev via a majority decision in April 2007. It would be Valuev's first loss in 47 fights. During his two-year reign, Chagaev successfully defended his title with a unanimous decision over Matt Skelton (then 21-1) and a technical decision over Carl Drumond (then 26-0). Since losing to Wladimir Klitschko in June 2009, Chagaev has defeated Kali Meehan (then 35-3) and Travis Walker (then 34-5-1) to become the WBA's No. 1 heavyweight contender.
If Rahman fights Chagaev, the Rock must be wary of Ruslan's excellent left-hand which he throws from a southpaw stance. Chagaev's loves using his left and throws it effectively to the head and body. Ruslan's southpaw stance might pose a problem as the orthodox fighters , like Rahman, are not used to fighting southpaws. In order to win, Rahman must take away Chagaev's left-hand by moving to his left to avoid Ruslan's power. Rahman must also find or create opportunities where he can land his big right hand. The Rock would have a decisive reach advantage over Chagaev and must use it to his advantage to nullify Chagaev's southpaw advantage.
Rahman's power, size, reach and experience should make for an interesting fight regardless who he faces. There's little doubt, though, the Rock will be the underdog - especially since his opponent will have home field advantage. In order to win, Rahman must score a knockout or TKO - or knock his opponent down a few times or pitch a virtual shutout en route to winning a decision.
If Rahman is looking to outbox Povetkin or Chagaev, he should stay home. Even if Hasim manages to outpoint his opponent in a competeive bout, its unlikely he'll be awarded a decision, given the fight will take place in Russia or Germany.
Fortunately for Rahman, Chagaev and Povetkin are aggressive, offensive fighters who will be more vulnerable than the defensive-minded Wladimir Klitschko. Rahman needs to fight a "war" - not a chess match. Controlled violence is the key to victory for Hasim... And, as Lennox Lewis can attest, Rahman is well-capable of ending a fight with one punch.