By Mark Vester
Steve Nelson, manager of former two-time WBC heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman (45-6-2, 36KOs), told The Fight Network , that his fighter could very well replace Juan Carlos Gomez in a fight with Vladimir Virchis (24-1, 20KOs) on March 8 in Krefeld, Germany. If he steps in, the fight would be Rahman's first to take place outside of the United States since he knocked out Lennox Lewis to win the heavyweight title in South Africa, in 2001.
Why would Rahman want such a fight? The bout between Virchis and Gomez has been scheduled as a WBC eliminator, with the winner landing a mandatory title shot. In recent weeks, Gomez has had a big falling out with his German-based promoters, Arena Box. The promotional company has claimed a lack of communication from Gomez and were forced to communicating with the fighter via press releases in the media.
“We’ve seen Virchis before, and we know he’s a strong, capable fighter,” Nelson told The Fight Network. “But it’s nothing we haven’t seen in the past. Rock has faced, and beaten, far better fighters than Virchis. It’s been a while since we’ve fought overseas. But we’re 3-0 when fighting outside the US, so we know we can go out on the road and get things done. This is a great opportunity to get ourselves back in the world title picture, and I know Rock is ready to make things happen.”
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