Rahman Bests Barrett For WBC “Interim” Title

By Francis Walker
Updated: August 14, 2005

NEW YORK — Hasim Rahman won a unanimous 12-round decision against his close friend, Monte Barrett to claim the WBC “interim” heavyweight title on Saturday at the United Center in Chicago, Ill. Rahman continues his road toward redemption continues, seeking to regain the undisputed world heavyweight championship.

Rahman (41-5, 33 KOs), the No. 1-ranked WBC contender, was supposed to have fought WBC heavyweight champion, Vitali Klitschko in April. The fight was postponed several times after Klitschko injured separate back and thigh in juries. Rahman decided to fight his friend, No. 2-ranked, Barrett (31-4, 17 KOs) with the winner to face Klitschko.

“Klitschko made me jump through hoops and made me fight my man,” Rahman said. “I didn’t want to fight Monte. I’m in his corner. I’m with Monte 100 percent. … I’ve got nothing but respect for Monte.”

Rahman-Barrett was for the WBC “interim” heavyweight title. “Interim,” meaning, should Klitschko, the WBC heavyweight champion, fail to defend the title against the Rahman-Barrett winner within 120 of their “interim” title fight, then Klitschko would lose his status as heavyweight champion. Therefore, the Rahman-Barrett stats of “interim” champion would change to “heavyweight champion” having already fulfilled the vacancy.

Rahman beat Barrett in about that was very slow paced. It was almost expected. First, both fighters are close friends and did not want to hurt each other. Also, it was an opportunity for Rahman to continue his path toward earning another heavyweight ttile shot, while Barrett could lose making money and still be recognized as a competitive top-10 fighter.

Rahman entered the fight as a more accomplished boxer than Barrett, who is said to hit very hard but struggles to put his punches together (combinations). Therefore, it would not have looked good if Barrett to knock his friend out of the heavyweight title scene during a crucial stage of his career.

It also would not have looked good if Rahman knocked out Barrett, a friend who has struggled to become a popular boxing attraction. It looked good for Barrett to last 12 rounds with Rahman, the same friend that knocked out Lennox Lewis in Johannesburg, South Africa (April 2001) to win the WBC/IBF heavyweight titles.

Rahman-Barrett, “interim” championship bout was about friends helping each other make money, fulfill dreams.

The action was slow, and drew plenty of boos from the 15,101 in attendance. For two heavy punchers who were in shape, there was plenty of clinching and very little exchanges.

“He hit me with some good shots, but he never hurt me,” Barrett said.

The three judges at ringside scored the bout 118-110 (twice) and 116-112 for Rahman.

Rahman had two cuts above his left eye, which could be a determining factor if he’s able to fight Klitschko within the mandated 120 day limit. What if the cuts do not heal? Would the WBC be gracious enough to offer Rahman an extension the way it gave Klitschko?

Klitschko vs. Peter in September

Speaking of Klitschko, the younger brother of Vitali, Wladimir will take on Sam Peter on September 24, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ to determine the No.1-ranked contender to IBF heavyweight champion, Chris Byrd, who has not fought at all this year.

Peter (24-0, 21KOs) is an undefeated, Nigerian KO-puncher with power in both fists. He really has not fought anyone, but his aggressiveness and relentless attack style has won him a growing following. Peter will undoubtedly face the biggest challenge of his career when he meets Klitschko, but is a challenge that Peter can win.

It’s very surprising that Klitschko-Peter was made. Wladimir (44-3, 40 KOs) could have taken an alternative route toward the heavyweight championship by challenging Byrd directly, especially since all three of Wladimir’s losses were by KO.

Peter could have faced a less dangerous opponent to become a mandatory challenger, but decided to meet Wladimir.

Instead, both fighters decided to fight each other at a high-class, historic venue in a high-profile fight on HBO. The winner gets a guaranteed title shot and becomes a major player in the world heavyweight title sweepstakes.

De La Hoya vs. Judah, No! Judah vs. Mayweather, Possible

Undisputed world welterweight champion, Zab Judah denied talk of a possible September showdown with Oscar De La Hoya. Instead, Judah confirmed the possibility of a perhaps better fight between himself and WBC junior welterweight champion, Floyd Mayweather.

“Mayweather’s got a big ass mouth, and I’m going to close it for him,” Judah said. “He beat a washed up Gatti and he thinks he’s the best.”

Judah was referring to Mayweather’s sixth-round TKO of Arturo Gatti in June. Mayweather went into Gatti’s backyard of Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, performed a boxing clinic. Mayweather, behind his blazing hand speed, movement, and tight defense, burned Gatti, taking the WBC 140-pound championship.

“He’s had handpicked fighters he’s able to beat,” Judah said. “He never fought anyone with fast hands and whose hard to hit. I’m going to show him.”

Judah, who traveled to St. Louis, MO to knockout Cory Spinks in his hometown to capture the unified WBC/WBA/IBF welterweight championships in February, mentioned a November 12 date for the epic clash.

Both fighters have blinding hand speed and can overwhelm opponents with punches from various angles. A Mayweather-Judah encounter has the potential to be very explosive and fiery. In addition to their fighting styles, both fighters have very big egos and are extremely confident in their hand skills.

DiBella Broadway Boxing Success

It’s been approximately five years since Lou DiBellla left his Senior Vice-Presidency post at HBO Sports to launch DiBella Entertainment. Although he signed many U.S. Olympic boxers at the beginning of his matchmaking turned promotional company, DiBella often struggled to find nationally televised fights for his prospects, many of whom faded as DiBella Entertainment grew.

Now, DiBella does not depend solely on other promoters to put his fighters on nationally televised cards. DiBella has his own monthly Broadway Boxing series which can be seen on the Madison Square Garden Network, Fox Sports, New England Sports Network, and Comcast Sports Net Chicago, and HD Net.

DiBella, who also co-promotes events with Damon Dash, CEO of Roc-A-Wear, Dash Music Group and Dash Films through Dash/DiBella Promotions, seeks to lure “Young fighters, particularly African-American fighters, [in] need [for] greater exposure.”

During the previous event on Aug. 4, which had plenty of action and competitive fights, Jaidon Codrington (9-0, 9KOs) remained undefeated when he TKO’d Levan Easley (17-12-2, 8KOs) to win a New York State super middleweight belt.

Super middleweight Curtis Stevens (8-0, 7 KOs) remained undefeated when he knocked out previously undefeated Jason Quick (4-1-1, 3 KOs) with a left-right combination to his chin.

Emmanuel Clottey won a unanimous 8-round decision against junior welterweight Marteze Logan (20-17-2, 5 KOs) by scores of 80-72, 78-74, and 79-73.

Peter Quillin (2-0, 2 KOs) knocked out Antwuan Hedgemond during his professional debut as a middleweight prospect.

“Punchin” Pat Nwamu (10-1, 3 KOs) handed Ehinomen Ehikhamenor (11-1, 7 KOs) his first professional loss.

The next Broadway Boxing Event will occur on August 25 at the Hammerstein Ballroom featuring DiBella’s undefeated and more high profile prospects that include), Sechew “Iron Horse” Powell (16-0, 10 KOs), Paul Malignaggi (19-0, 5 KO’s), Dmitriy “Star of David” Salita (22-0, 13 KOs).