Heavyweight Contender Hasim Rahman Seeks to Shock the World Once Again

Kevin McRaeFeatured ColumnistSeptember 29, 2012

Hasim Rahman will look to cash-in one last lottery ticket tonight in Germany.
Hasim Rahman will look to cash-in one last lottery ticket tonight in Germany.Ethan Miller/Getty Images

It seems like forever ago that American heavyweight Hasim Rahman turned the division on its head with a fifth-round knockout of undisputed champion Lennox Lewis in South Africa.

In boxing terms, the fight that took place over 11 years ago in April of 2001 might as well be forever ago.

Rahman, who lost the titles back to Lewis in his next fight, has not had a win of significance since that night in Africa, but finds himself once again challenging for a world title tonight in Germany.

It is a testament to the flawed, and sometimes outright corrupt, nature of the sanctioning bodies and their ranking systems. Rahman has not beaten a single fighter of note since his last world title challenge, a seventh-round wipeout against Wladimir Klitschko in 2008.

In fact, you can argue that he hasn't won a fight against an opponent of significance since he beat Lewis 11 years ago.

And no disrespect to Clinton Boldridge, Shannon Miller, Damon Reed, Marcus McGee and Galen Brown, but these are not guys you beat to get a title shot. Even if the belt is largely meaningless with the Klitschko brothers recognized as the real champions.

It's hard to believe that Rahman will enter the ring tonight against WBA regular heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin as even more of an underdog than he did against Lewis.

But for "The Rock," now 39, this is certainly his last chance at a title, and likely a significant fight even if he doesn't find a way to once again shock the world.

And it isn't going to be an easy road.

The Russian Povetkin is undefeated, and while his level of competition hasn't been sterling, everyone believes he will be too young and strong for a guy pushing 40 and likely just looking to collect one more big payday.

For Hasim Rahman and his fans, they must hang their hats on the old boxing adage that power is the last thing to leave a fighter. During his prime, "The Rock" had devastating power. 

And like South Africa 11 years ago, tonight's chances for Hasim Rahman can be summed up in one phrase—one big shot.