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24 APRIL 2014

Where am I? Home Columns Paul Upham
 




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Aggressive Klitschko Knocks Rahman Out in 7


Klitschko dominates: Pavel "Eagle Eye" Terehov
Klitschko dominates: Pavel "Eagle Eye" Terehov

By Paul Upham: IBF/WBO/IBO heavyweight boxing world champion Wladimir Klitschko retained his titles with an aggressive 7th round knockout of former champion Hasim Rahman on Saturday night at the SAP-Arena in Mannheim, Germany. Klitschko won every round and put on a much needed entertaining performance.

“That is what I have to do in the ring,” said 32 year-old Klitschko, reviewing his performance. “Hasim Rahman really got punished. I think in respect, he kept coming every round and to be honest with you, I was expecting the corner to give up earlier.”

36 year-old Rahman 45-7-2 (36) from Baltimore, USA had weighed in at 253lbs and was in black trunks with red trim and looking to jab to the body in the early seconds of round 1. A left hook from Klitschko got through and the champion was looking more aggressive than in many of his recent fights. A straight right hand between the gloves forced Rahman back.

“Dr Steelhammer” Klitschko 52-3 (46) from Kiev, Ukraine, 244.2lbs, wearing red trunks with gold trim, was keeping close to smother Rahman’s long right hand in round 2. While he had taken the fight at short notice after Alexander Povetkin had been injured, Rahman was in reasonable physical condition, his strong arms bulging. Klitschko was jabbing strongly and not allowing Rahman to set with his punches. Rahman’s impressive jab during his prime years was not on display. Another strong right hand split Rahman’s defence as Klitschko showed more purpose and lead attack than in recent matches.

A “Klitschko, Klitschko” crowd chant began in round 3. Rahman was content to be on the ropes with his hands up waiting. Right hands from Klitschko rocked “The Rock” and the Klitschko left jab snapped Rahman’s head back constantly. A right hand landed on Rahman’s chin as he lay on the ropes for an extended period of time. Finally, urged on by his corner, Rahman jabbed his way forward.

Rahman was trying to jab to the body in round 4 in attempt to take the wind out of Klitschko’s sails. Rahman showed more aggression as he stayed off the ropes and attempted to outwork Klitschko. But the 8/1 to 10/1 betting outsider was having little success against the powerful jab of Klitschko

Two fast left hooks landed on Rahman’s head in round 5. A straight right hurt Rahman as his corner yelled at him to “move your bloody head”. At the end of the round, a cut high above Rahman’s right eyebrow was attended to.

A left hook high on the head rocked Rahman in round 6 and a follow-up right hand as he wobbled sent the American down to the canvas. Rahman sat upright on the canvas as referee Tony Weeks counted. He beat the count and the action was allowed to continue. Klitschko attempted to finish him off and Rahman was forced back onto the ropes. Ducking and weaving, there was no offence in return from Rahman as Klitschko worked him over. Rahman survived to the bell and trainer Buddy McGirt told Rahman, “I’m not going to let you take shots like that. You’ve got to make it a dog fight.”

The end came in round 7. Rahman was hurt in the opening exchange with a right hand and he stumbled back onto the ropes. Klitschko attacked and Rahman trapped in the corner was hurt again and American referee Weeks jumped in and stoped the fight. Rahman was not down and unhappy with the stoppage, but left hand, right hand hooks exploded on his head and buckled his knees, prompting the referee’s decision. The fight was ended at the 0:44 minute mark.

Klitschko's jab was on target: Pavel "Eagle Eye" Terehov
Klitschko's jab was on target: Pavel "Eagle Eye" Terehov
After one of his better performances, Klitschko feels that he is now in his prime.

“I am really entering,” he explained, “as Lennox Lewis and many other heavyweights in history have said, when you are over 30, the heavyweights are actually getting better. That is what I feel at my age and my stage.”

While he must still make a mandatory title defence against Povetkin, Klitschko believes that Rahman was a tougher fight.

“I think Hasim Rahman is more experienced than Povetkin,” he said. “Povetkin is a young fighter. I was expecting Povetkin. It was the wish of Manny (Steward) and myself to fight Povetkin tonight. But unfortunately he couldn’t make it because he got injured. Any time soon we are going to see Povetkin versus Klitschko in 2009.”

There was a real heavyweight melting pot in the arena with Vitali Klitschko in his brother’s corner and Lennox Lewis and David Haye at ringside. Klitschko is looking forward to some bigger fights in 2009 and hopes to continue to rule the division in tandem with his older brother, who currently holds the WBC world title.

“I do share with my brother jointly the heavyweight division,” he said. “I think it is more exciting to do it with my brother than to do it alone.”

Date December 13
Location SAP-Arena, Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Wladimir Klitschko W.TKO.7 Hasim Rahman
IBF/WBO/IBO heavyweight world titles
Riddick Bowe W.8 Gene Pukall
Cornelius Bundrage W.KO.5 Zaurbek Baysangurov
IBF junior middleweight eliminator
Haxhi Krasniqi W.6 Lars Buchholz
Fatjon Murati W.4 Omar Jatta
Willi Fischer W.KO.4 Edgars Kalnars


Paul Upham
Content Editor
Klitschko monsters Rahman: Pavel "Eagle Eye" Terehov
Klitschko monsters Rahman: Pavel "Eagle Eye" Terehov


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