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 Last update:  10/4/2012       Read more by David P. Greisman         
   
Rahmanís Trainer: If he retires or goes on, Iím with him
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by David P. Greisman

Eddie Mustafa Muhammad had been working with Hasim Rahman in preparation for his heavyweight title challenge against Alexander Povetkin, but was unable to join him on fight night in Germany this past weekend due to passport issues. Instead, Muhammad watched from home as Rahman lost via second-round technical knockout.

Muhammad spoke with BoxingScene.com just days after the fight about his passport issues, Rahmanís performance and condition, and whether heíd advise the former heavyweight champion to retire.

BoxingScene.com: You werenít able to go to Germany to be in Rahmanís corner. What happened with you?

Muhammad: ďThere was just so much red tape involved with renewing my passport. They just kept saying itís been approved, but I just kept waiting for it. Itís ironic because my passport came the day of the fight. So I donít know: Maybe itís because my last name is Muhammad. It was just crazy. But listen, it is what it is.Ē

BoxingScene.com: Do you think your absence had anything to do with Hasimís performance?

Muhammad: ďIt couldíve been. Itís a situation where he was dehydrated. From what Iím hearing he had to go to the hospital the day before the fight, and he had to get intravenous fluids pumped into his system.Ē

BoxingScene.com: Do you know why he was dehydrated or what mightíve caused that?

Muhammad: ďHe likes his body to be a certain way, and he had gained a lot of weight, and he lost about 30 pounds, maybe a little bit more than that, but he did it real quick, and that did a lot to mess up his equilibrium and everything else. If you look at the first round, in my estimation, in my opinion, he won the first round with the jab, and then all of a sudden he got hit with a left hook, and that was the end of the fight, basically, because the weight loss had just drained him. It took everything out of him, that punch that Povetkin hit him with.Ē

BoxingScene.com: Well he did get hurt and wobbled as well in the first round with a right hand.

Muhammad: ďNo. He didnít get wobbled with the right hand. The announcers, I donít know what they were looking at. Go back and look at the fight. Look at Povetkin. Look at his face. He was running into jabs all day, his face was red as a beet. When I told Hasim, I said, ĎListen, we can beat this guy with a simple jab,í and just about every jab Hasim threw he connected.Ē

BoxingScene.com: Some have said that this is a sign Hasim needs to retire. Do you think he needs to retire?

Muhammad: ďI will never tell anybody itís time for them to retire unless they ask me themselves for my opinion. Heís a fighter. If he was to ask me, I would give him my opinion. But until then, I will only give him and him only my opinion on what he should do with his career.Ē

BoxingScene.com: Do you have any concerns about his safety if he is step back into the ring?

Muhammad: ďOh, without a doubt. Listen, itís not about the money. Iíve known Hasim for a while. We became close. Our families are real close. It was so ironic: Iím here watching him fight on TV and I have his whole family at my house. His kids, they was crying and they had to be consoled. So I had to take that step and console his family, but we got everything under control, and that was that. But Iím not the one to tell him that he needs to retire.Ē

BoxingScene.com: So when you say that without a doubt you have concerns about his health, why is that?

Muhammad: ďThe last punch Povetkin threw was a real solid punch, and Hasim was defenseless. He was defenseless, and he got hit with a left hook. And then he wasnít defending himself because he was grabbing onto the ropes. That shouldíve been a sign of the dehydration. He couldnít do nothing. Your bodyís not cooperating. You canít do anything.Ē

BoxingScene.com: Heís one of the real smart, real engaging guys in the sport. Why do you think he keeps on fighting despite whatís really been a tough past decade for him?

Muhammad: ďHeís a fighter, first and foremost. At one point in his career, he was on top of the world. Everybody wants to get one more time to see if they can do it.Ē

BoxingScene.com: Thereíve been rumors that Rahman had been hurt or wobbled in sparring. Can you speak to the veracity of those claims?

Muhammad: ďYeah, I can. Because of the weight loss. Yeah, he got wobbled. He was boxing the kid, [Andy] Ruiz, but they said he got dropped, and thatís not true. He never got dropped. He got wobbled. But he was never off his feet. I donít know where they get their information from ó I mean, I probably knew where they got it from, but those guys donít know a left hook from a fishhook. Thatís the way it is.Ē

BoxingScene.com: You said he lost the weight real rapidly. Did he regain weight after having surgery on his wrist and postponing the original fight date?

Muhammad: ďNo, he was still keeping the weight respectable, but every fighter wants to look good, wants their body to look real good, so he probably overdid it. I heard he overran a couple nights before the fight. This is what Iím being told by the people that were with him. Heís got to let his legs recuperate. I guess he wasnít able to let his legs recuperate after those long runs.Ē

BoxingScene.com: Are you expecting him back in the gym anytime soon?

Muhammad: ďI mean, to hang out with the fellas, to see whatís up. ĎHey, how you doing? Iím OK.í Things like that. Listen: Heís a very cool and engaging fighter. We all lose fights. I mean, it is what it is.Ē

BoxingScene.com: Any other thoughts on what you saw in the fight, or of your fighter?

Muhammad: ďIf he decides to retire, Iím with him. If he decides to go on, Iím still with him. All we got to do is evaluate. We got to over the tape, and we got to talk. But itís hard for me to tell him to retire, because heís a fighter. Weíll sit down and weíll have our talk, and then weíll go on from there.Ē

David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at fightingwords1@gmail.com

Tags: Hasim Rahman



 User Comments and Feedback (must register to comment)

comment by UTEP, on 10-05-2012
go to RlNGTV........... scroll down and look to your left if you think I took the time to make this up

comment by Ravens Fan, on 10-04-2012
[QUOTE=Light_Speed]Not only will he fight again, he'll get another title shot.[/QUOTE] When he puss's out against Wlad yet again maybe Pusvetkin will give Rahman a rematch.

comment by Light_Speed, on 10-04-2012
[QUOTE=yoz]1 billion Rahman fights again. Anyone?[/QUOTE] Not only will he fight again, he'll get another title shot.

comment by marzblkman, on 10-04-2012
I like Eddie a lot but this is absolute B/S. First off, Rahman "dehydrated" my a**. Rahman was flat out out of shape and if he says he lost 30 lbs that only tells you how much out of shape he WAS. But it's not like we didn't see this during "I'm not on the poster-gate" prior. Frankly R...

Eddie is a little punchie himself!
comment by hitmanjosh, on 10-04-2012
Listen Eddie know well himself when it's time to go, well maybe he don't because he stayed around a little to long himself letting people stop him inside the distance before he decided to hang them up.

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