By Steve Kim
There's not much you can do when an opponent simply refuses to fight you. Which is what Hasim Rahman Jr. found out this past Thursday evening at the Durham Armory in Durham, North Carolina when Joseph Coats backed out of the fight at the very last moment.
"They announced him and then he ran out of the ring,'' said a flummoxed, Greg Cohen, who promotes the son of the former heavyweight champion of the world.
"Don Turner is his trainer. Then the guy, they talked to him in the lockerroom, they said, 'no,no, no he's going to fight.' So a half-hour later Rahman walks back into the ring.
"He's waiting five minutes and then the ring announcer makes an announcement: 'Joseph Coats has left the building. He went out the back door and is refusing to fight and is permanently banned from ever boxing.'"
Yeah, Cohen - who says he will pay Rahman Jr, regardless - had never experienced anything so bizarre.
"Not only have I never seen anything like this, Russell Peltz who was the matchmaker and co-promoter of the show who was there in person said he's never seen anything like this and Russell's seen just about everything," said Cohen. This card was co-promoted by Peltz Boxing and Raging Babe.
As for Rahman Jr. (2-0, 2 KO's), Cohen told BoxingScene.com - "Hasim is scheduled for November 4th in Springfield, Virginia, right outside Washington D.C. He doesn't have a long wait. I feel terrible for the kid. Look, I flew the kid, the whole corner in and everybody. He was training really hard. He hadn't fought in awhile because he had a minor surgery in June and this was his fight back. It's terrible for this to happen."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.